The J. Paul Getty Museum

[Self-portrait in striped coat]

Object Details


[Self-portrait in striped coat]


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




Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1856–1858


Salted paper print

Object Number:



18.1 × 13.3 cm (7 1/8 × 5 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

In this self-portrait, Nadar's myopia makes him appear to be intensely staring at the camera, producing the accurate impression of an unremittingly forceful personality. Suspended on a velvet ribbon, his eyeglasses dangle over one of his wrists. To give an impression of spontaneity, he may have intentionally arranged for them to be visible, because in the process of crossing his arms they would more naturally have fallen between his arm and chest. This photograph has the air of a person trying out an attitude in a mirror, and Nadar may have used a mirror to study its composition. The image's close-up intimacy results from the roughly cut edges, with the head and shoulders filling most of the frame.

before 1976 - 1984

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

Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 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
Les Nadar (October 16, 2018 to February 3, 2019)
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris), October 16, 2018 to February 3, 2019

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. 50.

Hellman, Karen, ed. Real/Ideal: Photography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century France, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016), fig. 26.

Aubenas, Sylvie, and Anne Lacoste, eds. Les Nadar: Une Légende Photographique, exh. cat. (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, with BnF Éditions, 2018), p. 73.