[Mme. Ernestine Nadar]

Object Details


[Mme. Ernestine Nadar]


Nadar [Gaspard Félix Tournachon] (French, 1820 - 1910)




Paris, France (Place created)


1854 - 1855


Salted paper print


24.7 × 17.1 cm (9 3/4 × 6 3/4 in.)

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She pouts, she scowls: she is Nadar's wife, Ernestine, displaying the universally recognizable "I don't want my picture taken" expression familiar to anyone who has photographed a reluctant subject. But there is affection behind the defiantly crossed arms and the body she haughtily turns away from the photographer's demands. This portrait was made when Nadar was just starting out as a photographer, either just after his and Ernestine's engagement or just after their wedding. Ernestine Lefèvre was eighteen years old to Nadar's thirty-four; she was a middle-class girl from Normandy, and he was a bohemian Parisian artist who socialized with painters, writers, and actors. Whatever her thoughts were when this portrait was made, their relationship was apparently a successful one: they had been married for fifty-four years at Ernestine's death.

Self-Portrait (November 7, 1985 to January 7, 1986)
  • The Museum of Modern Art (New York), November 7, 1985 to January 7, 1986
The Flowering of Early French Photography, 1840-1870 (April 28 to June 28, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 28 to June 28, 1987
The Flowering of Early French Photography: Selections from the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (December 20, 1988 to May 7, 1989)
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore), December 20, 1988 to February 12, 1989
  • Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo), March 11 to May 7, 1989
Nadar (June 6, 1994 to July 9, 1995)
  • Musée d'Orsay (Paris), June 6 to September 11, 1994
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), April 3 to July 9, 1995
Nadar/Warhol: Paris/New York (July 20, 1999 to May 28, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 1999
  • The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), November 6, 1999 to January 30, 2000
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore), March 12 to May 28, 2000

The Flowering of Early French Photography, 1840-1870, exh. brochure (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1987), fig. 4.

Baldwin, Gordon, and Judith Keller. Nadar Warhol: Paris New York: Photography and Fame. Introduction by Richard Brilliant. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999), p. 45.