Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, 1820-1910) was the most influential photographer of his generation, often cited as the first to raise the medium of photography to the level of art. He is perhaps most famous for his series of outstanding portraits made between the mid 1850s and the 1870s, in which he created a lasting and affecting image of the French cultural élite. His concentration on faces and his romantic glorification of the individual were crucial elements in his highly successful style.
Photography is the visual medium of the modern world. It pervades our lives and shapes our perceptions. 55 is a new and ongoing series of beautifully produced, pocket-sized books that explore all aspects and styles of photography. They celebrate the world's most important photographers from the spheres of art, photojournalism, science, street photography, fashion photography and travel photography.
Each volume of 128 pages focuses on an individual master's life work and its development. It features 55 of their key works presented chronologically with an accessible introduction and critical commentaries, telling both the photographer's story and the story of the world that shaped their views.
James H Rubin teaches History of Art at the State University of New York, and at the Cooper Union in New York City. He is well known for his work on nineteenth-century French art. His books include Courbet and Impressionism in the Phaidon Art and Ideas series, and Manet's Silence and the Poetics of Bouquets.