Amazing Belle Epoque Photos by Henri Manuel

Henri Manuel (1874 – 1947 was a Parisian photographer who served as the official photographer of the French government from 1914 to 1944.

In 1900, Manuel opened a portrait studio in Paris with his brother Gaston, which specialised in portraitphotography. Manuel quickly became renowned as a photographer of people from the worlds of politics, art and sports, as well as a photographer of art and architecture. Soon his portraits were used by news agencies, and in 1910 Manuel’s studio began providing a commercial service to news agencies for photographs known as “l’Agence universelle de reportage Henri Manuel”.

The studio became the largest photographic studio in Paris and a leading centre where young aspiring photographers such as Thérèse Bonney might go to work.

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Sarah Bernhardt by Henri Manuel via

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Genevieve Lantelme by Henri Manuel via

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Régina Badet by Henri Manuel, c. 1910 via

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Marie Curie in her laboratoire, 1912 via

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Denise Poiret by Henri Manuel, 1910s via

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Colette by Henri Manuel, 1900s via

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Fashion photograph by Henri Manuel, 1895 via

Sarah Bernhardt as Doña Maria de Neubourg, Queen of Spain in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo (1878)

Ruy Blas is a tragic drama by Victor Hugo. The scene is Madrid; the time 1699, during the reign of Charles II. Ruy Blas, an indentured commoner (and a poet), dares to love the Queen, Maria de Neubourg. The story centers around a practical joke played on the queen, by Don Salluste de Bazan, in revenge for being scorned by her.

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo

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Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Maria in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo

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In Paris by Marina Tsvetaeva (1909)

Starlit houses, and sky below,

Earth dazed in the nearness.

The same secret longing though

In Paris, so vast and joyous.

The evening boulevards noisy,

The last ray of light dies,

Couples, paired round me,

Fierce lips, insolent eyes.

I’m alone. It’s sweet to rest

My head on a chestnut tree.

As in far Moscow, my breast

Throbs to Rostand’s poetry.

Paris at night, painful strangeness,

Dear the heart’s ancient folly!

I’m going back to violets, sadness,

A portrait of someone kind to me.

There that gaze, pensive, a brother,

There that mild profile, on the wall.

Rostand, L’Aiglon that martyr,

And Sarah* – in dream I find them all!

In Paris, so vast and joyous,

I dream of clouds and grass,

Laughter, shadows, ominous,

And the pain that will not pass.

                                        Paris, June 1909.

    

* Rostand’s play L’Aiglon concerns the unhappy life of the Duke of Reichstadt, the son of Napoleon I and Marie Louise, lived under the surveillance of Metternich at the Schönbrunn Palace. The drama was produced, on the 15th March 1900, by Sarah Bernhardt, at her own theatre, she herself playing the part of the Duke.

Beautiful Vintage Jacques Doucet Fashion & Design Photos (1900s-1920s)

Jacques Doucet (1853–1929) was a French fashion designer and art collector. He is known for his elegant dresses, made with flimsy translucent materials in superimposing pastel colors. His clothes were of perfect taste and luxury, his name the only one equalled with Worth.

Jacques Doucet was born in Paris in 1853 to a prosperous family whose lingerie and fine linens business, Doucet Lingerie, had flourushed in the Rue de la Paix since 1816. In 1871 Doucet opened a salon selling ladies’ apparel.

His most original designs were those he created for actresses of the time. Cecile Sorel, Rejane and Sarah Bernhardt (he designed the famous white costume she wore in L’Aiglon) all wore his outfits, both on and off the stage. For them he reserved a particular style, one which consisted of frills, sinuous curving lines and lace ruffles the colors of faded flowers.

Doucet was a designer of taste and discrimination who valued dignity and luxury above novelty and practicality, and gradually faded from popularity during the 1920s.

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Portrait of Jacques Doucet by Pierre Berger via

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Hat by Jacques Doucet, 1900 via

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Dress by Jacques Doucet, 1901 via

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Evening dress by Doucet, Les Modes June 1909 via

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Jacques Doucet, Sarah Bernhardt in Aiglon via

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Robe de style by Doucet, photo by Henri Manuel, Les Modes June 1923 via

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Robe de style by Doucet, Les Modes June 1923. Photo by Henri Manuel via

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Evening gown by Doucet, photo by Henri Manuel, Les Modes June 1923 via

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Jacques Doucet’s apartment Photograph by Pierre Legrain Published in L’Illustration, c. 1929 via

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Jacques Doucet’s Hall, Studio Saint James at Neuilly sur Seine via

Stunning Female Portraits by Pioneering Photographer Félix Nadar

Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1820 – 1910), a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist, and balloonist.

Nadar was born in April 1820 in Paris (though some sources state Lyon). He took his first photographs in 1853 and in 1858 became the first person to take aerial photographs. He also pioneered the use of artificial lighting in photography, working in the catacombs of Paris and later became the number one portrait photographer for the French elite.  In April 1874, he lent his photo studio to a group of painters, thus making the first exhibition of the Impressionists possible. Nadar died in 1910, aged 89. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Today, examples of Nadar’s photographic portraits are held by many of the great national collections of photographs.

Petite fille, ca 1887 Felix Nadar

Selika Lazevski was an écuyère who performed haute école – which means she was an equestrian who rode high school dressage in French circuses in the 19th century, by Félix Nadar 1891 via pinterest

Polaire (1874-1939) by Félix Nadar via blogspot

French photographer Felix Nadar was the first to take aerial photographs and later became the number one portrait photographer for the French elite. [Sarah Bernard]

Sarah Bernardt  by Félix Nadar via wiki

Cléo de Merode by Felix Nadar, c.1900

Cléo de Mérode by Félix Nadar, c.1900 via pinterest

George Sand by Félix Nadar 1864 via wiki

Berthe Morisot, 1875,  by Felix Nadar via blogspot

Sarah Bernardt on the art of acting

The dramatic art would appear to be rather a feminine art; it contains in itself all the artifices which belong to the province of woman: the desire to please, facility to express emotions and hide defects, and the faculty of assimilation which is the real essence of woman

Sarah Bernardt (1844-1923) a.k.a. “the most famous actress the world has ever known” on the art of acting