M. Jules de Prémaray, courrier des theatres (theatre messenger)

Object Details


M. Jules de Prémaray, courrier des theatres (theatre messenger)


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






Salted paper print


23.5 x 15.3 cm (9 1/4 x 6 in.)

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When Jules Martial Regnault, called de Prémaray, sat for Nadar in 1857, the two men had known each other for about fifteen years. Before his sitting, de Prémaray wrote to Nadar for advice on the most appropriate clothing for the photograph, suggesting the importance Nadar placed on apparel in his portraits. Whether de Prémaray's velvet smock belonged to him or to Nadar is uncertain, but it seems large for the writer's frail figure and the sleeves appear to have been turned back at the wrists, creating deep satin cuffs.

On the back of his photographs, Nadar customarily wrote the professions of his sitters; he designated de Prémaray as a theatrical critic rather than as the playwright he also was. The deep circles under de Prémary's eyes may be symptoms of the severe illness that soon necessitated a three-year course of hydrotherapeutic treatments. By 1859 the critic's precarious health had forced him to give up all kinds of writing, and he died nine years later at age forty-nine.

Nadar (June 6, 1994 to July 9, 1995) (For Paris venue only; request pulled by Paris)
  • 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

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. 123.