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Nadar
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Photographer
    (April 6, 1820-March 23, 1910)
    Born in Paris, France
    Birth name was Gaspard-Felix Tournachon
    Known for his portraits
    Subjects included Sarah Bernhardt, Charles Baudelaire, Alexandre Dumas pere, Franz Liszt, George Sand and Jules Verne
    He went by a pretentious single name.
    He sued his brother Adrien, who set up a studio as 'Nadar the Younger,' over rights to the name.
    He fought a duel with a newspaper editor over an article that offended him.
    He spent time in debtors' prison.
    In later years, most of the actual photography at his studio was done by his staff and his son Paul.
    He rarely took portraits of women, saying the results were 'too true to nature to please the sitters, even the most beautiful.'
    He studied medicine but left school to earn a living after his father's publishing house went bankrupt.
    He focused on revealing the personality of his sitters rather than making flattering portraits.
    A commentator said, 'All the outstanding figures of the era -- literary, artistic, dramatic, political, intellectual -- have filed through his studio.'
    He was a pioneer in using artificial lighting in photography.
    He took the first aerial photos from a balloon (1858).
    His interest in ballooning inspired the Jules Verne novel 'Five Weeks in a Balloon.'
    He lent his studio to a group of painters for what became the first exhibition by the Impressionists (1874).

Credit: C. Fishel


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