Benoît-Hermogaste Molin

Object Details


Benoît-Hermogaste Molin


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






Salted paper print


25.1 x 19.1 cm (9 7/8 x 7 1/2 in.)

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The friendship between the painter Benoît-Hermogaste Molin and Nadar dated to the early 1840s; by 1860 Nadar owned two works by the painter. As both men were portraitists, each brought a high degree of consciousness about posing subjects to this sitting, which took place while Molin was visiting from Italy.

In order to recall portraiture in the grand manner of Anthony Van Dyck, Nadar chose to engulf Molin in a glamorous and voluminous cape of some shiny fabric, embellished by only a complicated, knotted and looped double cord. As Molin's right arm holds the cape across his body and his left is concealed beneath the garment, Nadar must have been the one who puffed up the end of his cravat to provide an additional flourish of white fabric at the neck. Molin's head, the only visible part of his body, is fully lit, concentrating all attention on his face. The circles beneath his eyes counter-balance the tight curves of his eyebrows.

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. 78.