This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of a pretty performer named Debry. She was photographed by a famous photographer with the last name of Nadar. The question exists whether the photographer is Paul Nadar (1856-1939) or Gaspard-Felix Tournacon (AKA Nadar) (1820-1910). This postcard dates back to circa 1904, and by that time the elder Nadar was 84 years old and not active in studio photography. Therefore the photographer was the younger Nadar. Paul was the son of Gaspard-Felix. Both were famous in the field of photography but their talent stretched to other disciplines. Paul’s talent extended to art, printing, and writing. In 1874, Paul managed his father’s Paris studio.  In around 1885 their relationship fractured. However the following year, the two collaborated on what is thought to be the first photo-interview in history. The subject of the interview was a prominent 101 year-old chemist and color theorist. That same year, Paul began photographing from a hot-air balloon. Paul liked experimenting and this led to him studying artificial lighting and developing a patented projection system for animating still pictures. Kodak named him their agent in France in 1893…. Gaspard Felix (G.F.), in addition to being a photographer, was a caricaturist, journalist, novelist, balloonist and advocate of manned flight. Portraits by G.F. can be found in a number of national museum collections. He opened his photography studio in Paris in 1854. He was a celebrity photographer (Actors, Politicians, Writers, Painters, and Musicians). He attracted many famous sitters because he was considered the best photographer in France. He was no fan of studio props. He preferred natural daylight. F.G. was most interested in focusing his photography on his subject’s face.He wanted the subjects to wear dark clothing for their portraits and often hid their hands from the camera. Although, he photographed many women, he preferred to photograph men. He believed that women believe “the images are too true to nature to please” them; even the most beautiful of the women. He once wrote that the most vain portrait sitters were actors and the second vainest group was soldiers. Ballooning was another area of F.G’s interest.  He was involved with writer Jules Verne in an organization supporting the development of “air machines”. In the 1850’s G.F. was experimenting taking aerial photographs. During the siege of Paris in 1870, Nadar was a principal in organizing balloon flights to do reconnaissance and carry the mail, creating the first airmail service. This postcard portrait was part of a series (no.769).  (SOLD)


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