Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Pierrot Laughing

Artist:
Nadar (French, Paris 1820–1910 Paris)
Artist:
Adrien Tournachon (French, 1825–1903)
Person in Photograph:
Jean-Charles Deburau (French, 1829–1873)
Date:
1855
Medium:
Gelatin-coated salted paper print (vernis-cuir)
Dimensions:
27.3 x 19.8 cm (10 3/4 x 7 13/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1998
Accession Number:
1998.57
Not on view
We owe the contemporary image of Pierrot to the famous mime Jean-Gaspard Baptiste Duburau, who replaced the ruff and wide white hat of the commedia dell'arte character with the long blank face and black skull cap that we recognize today. Charles Duburau, his son and also a mime, was asked by Nadar and his brother Adrien to pose for a series of "têtes d'expression" that would serve as publicity for the brothers' struggling studio. The series was an enormous popular success.
Inscription: Stamped, recto, bottom right: "Nadar jne"; inscribed in the hand of the sitter in ink on mount, recto, bottom left: "Souvenir le 7 9re [November] 1858"; bottom right, below image: "Mes amitiés à M. // Metinger // Ch Deburau"; blindstamped on mount, recto, bottom center: "TOURNACHON-NADAR // 17 BOULEVARD DES ITALIENS 17"
Galerie Texbraun, Paris, France (Hugues Autexier and François Braunschweig); Jean-Michel Braunschweig, Paris, France (brother and heir to François); [Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France]

Charles Deburau
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