Finette (Mabille)

Object Details


Finette (Mabille)


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




Paris, France (Place created)


1856 - 1858


Salted paper print


22.2 x 15.6 cm (8 3/4 x 6 1/8 in.)

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The Bal Mabille was one of the more notorious Second Empire dance halls. The subject of this portrait, Finette, is decked out in her finest dress, sporting the lace bonnet with silk bow that the dancers at the Bal Mabille were famous for wearing. Her beauty mark and pin curl distinguish her from the respectable ladies of her day, although only with historical hindsight could this sweet-faced young woman obviously be a person of loose morals, possibly a prostitute. She looks sad, turning absently away from the camera. If, as historians have suggested, Nadar insisted upon covering up her body in the paisley shawl that appears in other photographs, this working girl was possibly disappointed that her portrait by the renowned photographer was not more obviously revelatory of her charms.

The Flowering of Early French Photography, 1840-1870 (April 28 to June 28, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 28 to June 28, 1987
The Flowering of Early French Photography: Selections from the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (December 20, 1988 to May 7, 1989)
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore), December 20, 1988 to February 12, 1989
  • Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo), March 11 to May 7, 1989
Nadar (June 6, 1994 to July 9, 1995)
  • 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. 96.