Count Leopold de Syracuse

Object Details


Count Leopold de Syracuse


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






Salted paper print


20.2 x 15.5 cm (7 15/16 x 6 1/8 in.)

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As he was of royal blood, Leopold, Count of Syracuse was an atypical sitter for the antimonarchical Nadar. How he found his way to Nadar's studio is something of a mystery. Married to a prudish princess whom he apparently disliked, Leopold settled into a life of earthly pleasures, political dissent, lavish generosity, and patronage of the arts. He was nonetheless a talented and ambitious amateur sculptor whose wealth and position made it possible for him to erect public monumental sculptures of his own creation in his native Naples.

Alluding to Leopold's job as sculptor or to Renaissance princely portraiture, Nadar arranged a great swath of velvet over his sitter's shoulder, effectively shielding his big body. Beneath this sweep of fabric, Leopold appears to wear only a simple shirt with a banded edge, a surprisingly unassuming costume for one of his rank. Together face, drapery, and lighting produce an effect strongly reminiscent of Titian's portraits.

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. 99.