- Hélène Bocard
[Tournachon , (Gaspard ) Félix ]
(b Paris, April 8, 1820; d Paris, March 21, 1910).
French photographer, printmaker, draughtsman, writer and balloonist. He was born into a family of printers and became familiar with the world of letters very early in life. He abandoned his study of medicine for journalism, working first in Lyon and then in Paris. In the 1840s Nadar moved in socialist, bohemian circles and developed strong republican convictions. Around this time he adopted the pseudonym Nadar (from ‘Tourne à dard’, a nickname he gained because of his talent for caricature). For his friend Charles Baudelaire (see fig.), Nadar personified ‘the most astonishing expression of vitality’. In 1845 he published his first novel, La Robe de Déjanira, and the following year he embarked on his career as a caricaturist, working for La Silhouette and Le Charivari and subsequently for the Revue comique (1848) and Charles Philipon’s Journal pour rire (1849), which later became the Journal amusant...