The Nadars, a photographic legend

The Nadars


Charles Deburau: Pierrot the photographer

Adrien Tournachon, 1854-1855

Salt-paper print from a collodion glass negative, 28.6 x 21 cm.
Paris, Musée d’Orsay, Mr. and Mrs. André Jammes Gift, 1991, PHO 1991 1 1
Photo © Musée d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Hervé Lewandowski
The son of the famous mime Jean-Gaspard Deburau - the very one who plays Baptiste in Marcel Carnés Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise), Charles Deburau gave his own skilful interpretation of the Pierrot character that his father had recreated. The Tournachon brothers had the clever idea of getting him to pose in his most popular interpretations of that role. The large-size prints made by Adrien Tournachon inspired great admiration at the 1855 World's Fair and earned their creator a 1st Place medal.
The idea of launching both Adrien's studio and the Nadar name in photography with this spectacular series succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.