Musée d'Orsay: Photographs by Charles Lhermitte

Photographs by Charles Lhermitte

The painter Léon Lhermitte's son, Charles Lhermitte started to practise photography at the beginning of the 20th century and stopped in the 1920's.

Although a member of the pictorialist movement, he always remained a dilettante.

Charles Lhermitte's manner was influenced more by naturalism, which he inherited from his father, than by symbolism which constituted the bloom of pictorialism. He generally preferred a clear definition rather than the soft focus valued so much by the followers of the latter movement. Besides, he remained faithful to the processes that demanded a number of technical "manipulations" , assimilating the photographic picture with a drawing, like the technique of gold chlorate or the oil translation.

Without appearing today as a major photographer of the Photo-secession, Charles Lhermitte was nonetheless a sincere and sensitive photographer. Though he sometimes fell victim to the less successful aspects of pictorialist aesthetics, in particular in the fields of the nude and the genre scene, he frequently managed to capture the grace of a figure and the poetry of a landscape.


Philippe Néagu, curator, Musée d'Orsay

22 October 1991 - 22 January 1992
Musée d'Orsay

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