The Nadars, a photographic legend

The Nadars


Émile Blavier (1884-1946), sculptor

Adrien Tournachon, between 1854 and 1858

Salt-paper print from a collodion glass negative, 30.8 x 23.7 cm.
BnF, Prints and Photographs Department, EO-99 (1)-PET FOL
© Bibliothèque nationale de France
The sculptor Émile Blavier presented a bust of his friend Adrien Tournachon at the 1852 salon. Théophile Gautier described the bust thus in La Presse: "The terracotta bust of Mr. Adrien Tournachon by Mr. Blavier has the lively ardor, bright eyes, open and quivering nostrils of Caffieri's best terracottas […]. It is undoubtedly the most remarkable bust in this salon." Maxime Du Camp, editor-in-chief of the Revue de Paris, praised it no less lavishly: "The most stunning bust in this salon […]: the lively head, topped with abundant hair and emerging from a large-bowed cravat tied wrapped around a powerful neck, has been ravishingly well executed." In L’Éclair, Cornelius Holff joined the chorus: "It is a […] strong and powerul head, thrown back à la Mirabeau."
In 1860, he made the allegories that adorned the façade of Félix Nadar's studio on Boulevard des Capucines. None of those works' whereabouts are currently known.