The J. Paul Getty Museum

Gustave Mathieu

Object Details


Gustave Mathieu


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






Salted paper print

Object Number:



23.4 × 18.3 cm (9 1/4 × 7 3/16 in.)

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Object Description

Weary if not haggard, the poet and editor Gustave Mathieu looks out at the viewer with an expression made inscrutable by the cloud of moustache and beard that wholly obscure his mouth. His slight figure is nattily clothed in tartan vest, nubbly tweed trousers, dark jacket, and overcoat. The latter may have been desirable for warmth because at this period many of Nadar's portraits were made in the garden of his rue Saint-Lazare studio.

Many of Nadar's sitters were already famous when he photographed them; others became well known later in their lives. Mathieu was neither; his birth and death dates are not known and, aside from this photograph, the remaining records of his life are slight. Mathieu may no longer be a recognized name, but the fact that this is a mounted edition print indicates that Nadar thought there was public interest in his image.


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

The Art of Photography: 1839 - 1989 (Sezon Museum of Art) (March 3 to April 1, 1989)
  • Sezon Museum of Art (Tokyo), March 3 to April 1, 1989
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. 45.