Mother Superior Marie Jamet's steady expression combines sad-eyed benevolence and sweetness. A halo of white surrounds and isolates her moon-shaped face from the dark sky of her hooded habit.
Nadar was emphatically not religious, and scholars do not know how he came to photograph this nun. She was probably photographed because she was believed to be the founder of an order of nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, who were dedicated to the care of destitute elderly persons. Outside his normal range of literary society sitters, Mother Jamet may have been intrigued by Nadar's reputation as a portraitist.