|Nadar Self-Portraits, 1865|
As artists today, many of us would be "lost" without photos to work from. Some of us have learned to use them and rely on them more than others, but I would guess just about every painter today has used them at some point in time. Ever wonder what artist was the first to use photos in his work? Of course it's hard to say for sure, but a likely candidate would be Gaspar-Felix Tournachon. You don't want to know how to pronounce that because he went by the name Nadar (pronounced Na-DAR) most of his life. He was born in 1820, and inasmuch as photography, for all intents and purposes, took its bow about 1840, his use of it around 1850 in doing a series of 270 caricatures of famous Parisians certainly puts him on or near the ground floor as the new medium took off (at least insofar as art is concerned). Nadar published his drawings in a magazine called Pantheon, which was so popular he put out a second edition the following year.
|Nadar's Paris Studio-Gallery, |
|Nadar Elevating the Photograph to|
High Art, 1863, Honore Daumier
|As the Daumier cartoon (above, right)|
proclaims, Nadar took photography to new
heights, but also to new depths, revealing
a Paris few (human) Parisians had ever seen
before (ca. 1900).
|Aerial View of Paris, 1868, |
Nadar, featuring the Arc de Triomphe