For a photographer so gifted in drawing out the essential traits of his sitters, Nadar seems determined here to create a particularly serious presentation of himself. The result is uncharacteristically stiff and inexpressive. His arms are folded and his hands lost in the folds of his sleeves as if he were bound up in a straight jacket.
Although by this time Nadar was an entrepreneur, his clothes present an informal combination of disparate elements in keeping with his self-image as an artist and Bohemian. He wears a silk tie so askew as to appear barely tied at all and a white shirt with a loose-fitting spread collar. His long, loose fashionable coat resembles a painter's smock, perhaps a self-referential nod to his occupation.