Le Geant, Champ de Mars

A work made of gelatin silver printing out paper print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gelatin silver printing out paper print.

Date:

October 18, 1863, probably printed 1880/89

Artist:

Nadar (Gaspard Félix Tournachon)
French, 1820–1910

About this artwork

During the reign of Napoleon III (1852–70), Nadar cultivated an illustrious career as a writer, caricaturist, and, most notably, photographer, producing arresting portraits of his renowned friends and contemporaries. He was also an enthusiastic balloonist, an obsession that led him to construct the largest hot air balloon the world had seen and make the first aerial photographs in 1858. Viewing the Earth's surface from above, he wrote, "reduces all things to their relative proportions—to the Truth." Nadar's first flight aboard his balloon Géant (Giant) on October 4, 1863, was a great success. On the second launch, however, the balloon eventually crashed in Hanover, leaving Nadar with a fractured leg. This photograph of that launch establishes the sheer size of the balloon—which was made with 20,000 meters of silk and carried 80 passengers in a two-story basket—by juxtaposing it with the crowd of 200,000 who have come to watch it.

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Photography

Artist

Nadar (Gaspard Félix Tournachon)

Title

Le Geant, Champ de Mars

Origin

France

Date

1863

Medium

Gelatin silver printing out paper print

Dimensions

17.1 × 16.5 cm (image/paper); 18.8 × 18.4 cm (first mount); 33 × 24.2 cm (second mount)

Credit Line

Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean Levy and the Estate of Julien Levy

Reference Number

1988.157.60

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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