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Belle Epoque Postcards ~ Portrait Photographers

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Felix Nadar

Due to the fact, that the portrait postcards were dominantly a French/Parisian business, we focus on French portrait photographers. The most popular and successful portrait photographers at Paris in the second half of the 19th century until the 1930s were the Reutlingers, beginning with Charles Reutlinger (1816-1891) and coming to its hightime with his nephew Léopold Reutlinger (1860-1937), who was focussing on fashion and women.
At that time Paris was a cultural centre of arts in Europe, and all the celebrities, actresses, dancers, singers and wealthy people were portrayed by Reutlinger on so called "cabinet cards" or "cartes de visite" (CDV).
The Reutlingers produced incredible numerous portrait series of hundreds of people that were widely published on commercially reproduced postcards.

Besides the Reutlingers were the famous Félix Nadar (1820-1910)and his son Paul Nadar (1856-1939), another photographer family who went to Paris and became widely reknown for their portraits of celebrities from politics, science and arts.

A rather mysterious person among Paris' photographers was Julien Walery. There is no reliable information about his ancestry and some people assume, that he is identical to Julian Ignacy Count Ostroróg, a British photographer.

Among other professional portrait photographers at Paris of the Belle Epoque are to mention

Alfred Noyer (? - Noyer-Studio 1910-1940)
Charles Ogerau (1868-1908),
Henri Manuel (1874-1947),
Prof. Édouard Stebbing
Pierre Petit (1831-1909),
Paul Boyer (1861-1908)
Otto van Bosch (18?? – 1895).

Nevertheless there were numerous portrait photographers all over Europe, especially at London and Vienna, but most of their names are now(almost) forgotten.
The most famous from London were William Downey (1829-1915) and Daniel Downey (1831-1881). We have a separate page about the Downeys in the cabinet card section. They are especially known for their portraits of the Royal Family.
From Vienna i.e. we have knowledge of the atelier of Wilhelm Otto.


Les Reutlinger







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