AnonymousRobert and Clara Schumann© Musée d'Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
The first photographers were faced with the problem of how to reengage with portraiture and the representation of the human form. To begin with, using a relatively slow and limited technique, they worked within the constrains of the portraiture tradition established by painting. The Musée d'Orsay collections provide a fairly comprehensive picture of the development of the portrait and the representation of the figure in international photography from 1850 to 1914, in both stylistic and thematic terms. The exhibition includes a selection of official and intimate portraits of celebrities (artists and actresses) and ordinary people, taken by famous artists or more obscure photographers, and in particular those taken by artists whose innovations were to be influential within the genre incl. Nadar, Cameron, Degas, Steichen, Stieglitz, etc.
Françoise Heilbrun, Chief Curator, Musée d'Orsay, and Joëlle Bolloch, Archivist, Musée d'Orsay