|Gaspard Félix Tournachon, called Nadar (French, 1820–1910)
Portrait of George Sand, 1864 (this print published in 1876)
Carbon print, 9 1/8 x 7 1/4 in. (23.2 x 18.4 cm)
Everett V. Meeks, B.A. 1901, Fund
George Sand, born Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin, was well known among her contemporaries for both her literary achievements and her unorthodox lifestyle. Sand worked with prodigious energy, producing seventy novels and twenty-four plays, often with an emphatically feminist point of view. Sand was already famous by the time this portrait was taken by her friend Nadar, who photographed the intelligentsia and celebrities of mid-nineteenth-century Paris, effectively documenting the cultural life of his time. Nadar's treatment of his subjects, however, strived for timelessness. He was unusual among his contemporaries for using a plain, dark backdrop and for preferring his sitters in neutral dress, through which he sought to convey the character rather than the appearance of the individual. As with this portrait, Nadar was at his best with the people he knew best, drawing out his sitters and capturing their essential qualities.