Maréchal Serrano

Object Details


Maréchal Serrano


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




negative April 1857; print about 1861


Salted paper print


23.5 x 18.4 cm (9 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.)

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When Maréchal Francisco Serrano y Dominguez sat for Nadar, he was forty-six years old and the Spanish ambassador to France, a post he held only for a year. He is more elaborately turned out than any other sitter to appear before Nadar's camera, bedecked with medals--including the cross of San Fernando--that attest to his military prowess. His carriage erect, he looks thoroughly accustomed to holding himself in this formal posture.

Because Nadar also photographed Serrano's successor Narvaez in full formal diplomatic regalia, he may have made the two photographs to commemorate the changing of the Spanish ambassadorial guard in September of 1857. Despite his illustrious career, Serrano is perhaps not remembered much today, even in Spain. In happy coincidence with his splendid appearance, however, the Calle Serrano, Madrid's equivalent of Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive, is named after him.

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. 95.