Jean-François Philibert Berthelier, comédien

Object Details


Jean-François Philibert Berthelier, comédien


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




Paris, France, Europe (Place created)


1856 to 1859


Salted paper prints from glass negatives


24.2 × 18.9 cm (9 1/2 × 7 7/16 in.)

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Jean-François-Philibert Berthelier was a singer, comic actor, and a kind of nineteenth-century "pop star." In the 1850s his performances were wildly popular throughout Europe in concert halls and salons. This portrait then would have been the equivalent of a publicity photograph. Nadar photographed Berthelier in character; in a single still image, Nadar skillfully managed to make the comedian lookfunny.

He wears a fanciful, tassel-topped knitted cap while clutching a more sedate hat in front of him. His straw-like hair falls awkwardly around his neck in defiance of gravity and style. Berthelier wears an expression of mischievous glee as he looks off to the side, as if contemplating some act of impropriety taking place just out of the frame.

The Flowering of Early French Photography, 1840-1870 (April 28 to June 28, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 28 to June 28, 1987
The Flowering of Early French Photography: Selections from the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (December 20, 1988 to May 7, 1989)
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore), December 20, 1988 to February 12, 1989
  • Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo), March 11 to May 7, 1989
Nadar (June 6, 1994 to July 9, 1995)
  • Musée d'Orsay (Paris), June 6 to September 11, 1994
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), April 3 to July 9, 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
Real / Ideal: Photography in France, 1847-1860 (August 30 to November 27, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 30 to November 27, 2016

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. 127.