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Nadar's autographs...

The newspaper "Le Figaro" of Thursday October 29, 1863 is a very curious issue! He borrows an incredible autograph album from Nadar with permission to reproduce them.

Gaspar Félix Tournachon dit  Nadar en 1854
Gaspar Félix Tournachon dit Nadar en 1854

Our photographer, who was to host the first exhibition of the future Impressionists eleven years later, wrote to the editor of the newspaper:

"My friend, you asked for my album: here it is. It's the first time it's come out of my house and it really has to be for you. Don't prejudice it. It's the legacy of little Nadar and I'm a bit concerned about it today because we're on the eve of tomorrow"

Numéro avec autographes de l’album de Nadar

The preface to issue 908 of Le Figaro explains:

" While putting my paperwork in order, I realized that I had a rather curious collection of autographs and I thought that by bringing them together, I would do an original number. From there to remember that several of my friends have very precious albums, it was not far away. Captain Nadar was good enough to entrust me with his beautiful album; I skimmed it with autographs which we are going to read and, in spite of the execution costs that exceed the figure devoted to the writing of each issue, if the readers take a liking to my idea, we will start again »

An incredible series of autographs followed, including those of Nadar, Proudhon, Guizot, Alphonse Karr, Alfred de Vigny, Jules Michelet, Verdi, Alfred de Musset, Feydeau, Théophile Gautier, Eugène Scribe and Maxime Ducamp.

On the first page, we also see the autograph of a certain Gioachino Rossini, who, not content with signing, also drew a small piece of score and the church in which he was baptized, it seems.

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...


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