A[uguste] Préault

Object Details


A[uguste] Préault


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






Salted paper print

Object Number:



23.7 × 17.1 cm (9 5/16 × 6 3/4 in.)

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A favorably disposed nineteenth-century critic described the fiery sculptor Antoine Augustin Préault thus: "The fever of poetry, the drunkenness of beauty, the horror of vulgarity, and the madness of glory possessed and tormented Préault." Nadar's portrait captured the sculptor's turbulent energy through the tense twist of the pose. Préault's body turns to his right, his head slightly to the left, and his eyes farther to his left. His folded arms wrap around his body, momentarily holding in check his considerable physical and intellectual power, the better to be unleashed.

By using strong overhead diagonal light to shape the large dome of the head and to cast half the face into shadow, Nadar emphasized the gravity of Préault's presence. Sitter and photographer produced a portrait that reveals the essence of the man rather than merely his appearance.


Samuel Wagstaff, Jr., American, 1921 - 1987, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

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

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. 82.