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Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (born 1820, died 1910) alias Nadar was a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist and balloonist. After abandoning medical studies he became journalist. In 1849 he founded the magazine Revue comique. In 1854 he opened his own photographic studio. He began to omit studio background paintings and image retouching. He focused on lighting, silhouette, face and hands, thus creating his distinct style. He portrayed many famous people like Charles Baudelaire, Honoré de Balzac, Honoré Daumier, Gioachino Rossini and Sarah Bernhardt. He constructed a balloon with propeller, thus inspiring Jules Verne to write a balloonist novel. He did a sensational balloon flight from Paris to Hanover, making several aerial photographs during the travel. With his long-time exposures of Paris' canalisation and catacombs he also documented the world from below. In 1874 he organized the first great impressionists' art exhibition, showing paintings of Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne. In 1900 he published his memoirs under the title "Quand j'étais photographe".


  • German Wikipedia
  • Images provided by Smithsonian Institution, State Library of New South Wales, and Dan Iggers