Nadar

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9780870997372: Nadar
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Nadar (1820-1910), whose real name was Felix Tournachon, was a conspicuous, even astonishing presence in 19th-century France. Engaging and quick-witted, he invented himself over and over--as a bohemian writer, journalist, romantic utopian, caricaturist, photographer, and scientific innovator. This book catalogues nearly 200 of his finest works, 98 of them in color.

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New York's Metropolitan Museum pulls out all the stops in this magnificent treatment of the life and work of Fe{‚}lix Tournachon, the photographer self-named, and famous as, Nadar. A lively, energetic, creative machine in mid-nineteenth-century France, Nadar was a bohemian journalist, a caricaturist, a photographer, and a promoter of balloon flight. Never a good businessman, he let his enthusiasms exhaust his means in every enterprise. Although he lived until 1910, his best photographic portraits were made in the mid-1850s. He photographed, in images that possess remarkable presence even today, the notable artistic and literary personalities of midcentury France's romantic and republican heyday, when his temperament was in its glory. In the second empire, he increasingly felt out of place, and in his final projects--photographing the catacombs and sewers of Paris and sights observed from the gondola of his balloon, Ge{‚}ant his alienation from the Paris he had loved was literal as well as symbolic. This profusely illustrated document provides a fascinating picture of French public life at midcentury while delineating one of its foremost personalities. Gretchen Garner

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Hambourg, Maria Morris, Nadar, Felix, He
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