George Sand (Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin)

Object Details

Title:

George Sand (Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin)

Artist/Maker(s):

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

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1865

Medium:

Albumen silver print

Dimensions:

24.1 x 18.3 cm (9 1/2 x 7 1/4 in.)

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Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dudevant, née Dupin, took the pseudonym George Sand in 1832. She was a successful Romantic novelist and a close friend of Nadar, and during the 1860s he photographed her frequently. Her writing was celebrated for its frequent depiction of working-class or peasant heroes. She was also a woman as renowned for her romantic liaisons as her writing; here she allowed Nadar to photograph her, devoid of coquettish charms but nevertheless a commanding presence.

This portrait is a riot of textural surfaces. The sumptuous satin of Sand's gown and silken texture of her hair have a rich tactile presence. Her shimmering skirt melts into the velvet-draped support on which she leans, creating a visual triangle with the careful center part of her wavy hair. The portrait details the exquisite laces, beads, and buttons of her gown, but her face, the apex of the triangle, is out of focus. Sand was apparently unable to remain perfectly still throughout the exposure, and the slight blurring of her facial features erases the unforgiving details that the years had drawn upon her.

Exhibitions
Fame and Photography (March 9 to May 23, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), March 9 to May 23, 1993
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
Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity (April 3 to September 2, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 3 to September 2, 2012
Bibliography

Baldwin, Gordon, and Judith Keller. Nadar Warhol: Paris New York: Photography and Fame. Introduction by Richard Brilliant. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999)