Portrait photograph by Nadar, 1856. Printed by Paul Nadar, ca. 1900-1930, and signed "P. Nadar." Gioachino ROSSINI.

Portrait photograph by Nadar, 1856. Printed by Paul Nadar, ca. 1900-1930, and signed "P. Nadar."

Image size 206 x 150 mm. Mount size 223 x 166 mm. Gelatin silver print, mounted on board.

Signed "P. Nadar" in ink at lower right.

From the collection of the distinguished American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne (b. 1934).

Lightly faded; edges silvered; ca. 1/8th of lower portion trimmed.

N.B. The defects in the lower quarter of the image are part of the original negative and are evident on all prints of the present image.

French artist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1820-1910), known simply as Nadar, was a major figure in early photography, capturing images of many of the major Parisian personalities of the 19th century. His fascination with ballooning led him to be the first person to take aerial photographs on a flight in 1858. Nadar's famous studio was taken over by his son, Paul Nadar (1856-1939).

Nadar took this image of Rossini in March 1856, a year after the composer had moved back to Paris. It is one of the earliest and best-known photographs of the operatic master. Due to damage to the original plate, Nadar made only a single proof at the time, now held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Nevertheless, the image would serve as the basis for numerous lithographs and engravings over the following decades. Nadar's son Paul made silver gelatin prints from the original plate in the early part of the 20th century, and it is from these prints that the image is known today.

"No composer in the first half of the 19th century enjoyed the measure of prestige, wealth, popular acclaim or artistic influence that belonged to Rossini. His contemporaries recognized him as the greatest Italian composer of his time. His achievements cast into oblivion the operatic world of Cimarosa and Paisiello, creating new standards against which other composers were to be judged. That both Bellini and Donizetti carved out personal styles is undeniable; but they worked under Rossini's shadow, and their artistic personalities emerged in confrontation with his operas. Not until the advent of Verdi was Rossini replaced at the centre of Italian operatic life." Philip Gossett in Grove Music Online.

"Horne had a voice of extraordinary range, rich and tangy in timbre, with a stentorian chest register and an exciting top... In concert she once achieved the feat of singing in a single programme Rossini arias and Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene, proof of her exceptional versatility. Throughout her lengthy career she was an admired recitalist, singing lieder, mélodies, Spanish and American songs with equal aplomb." Alan Blyth in Grove Music Online. Item #31855

Price: $1,500.00  other currencies

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