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Félix Thiollier photographies @ Musée d’Orsay – Paris
13/11/2012 @ 12:00 am - 09/02/2013 @ 6:00 pm$12
Born in Saint-Étienne himself and always engaged with the local artistic institutions Félix Thiollier pushed fine arts in his region very actively in the late 19th century and in the new exhibition @ Musée d’Orsay we’ll get to observe his tribute to the industrialists from Saint Etienne.
This is the first monograph devoted to the French photography pioneer in Paris who, at the age of 37, decided to live off his private income and devote himself above all else to art and archaeology, the two passions that had gradually brought photography into his life.
Having satisfied these desires by publishing illustrated books aimed at promoting both the conservation of the heritage of Forez and the work of his artist friends – the most prominent of whom included Auguste Ravier, Paul Borel and Jean-Paul Laurens – these passions went on to produce a talented amateur photographer.
Although Felix never considered himself a real “artist” as he believed photography couldn’t be compared to painting he was certainly prolific producing over 27 000 stills between 1870 and 1914.
Remaining resolutely on the fringes of the photographic circles of his time, Thiollier turned out to have created an original body of work which varied between picturesque, post-Romantic rural landscapes and a starkly lyrical view of an industrial world largely ignored by the artistic French photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries.
This exhibition, realised with the special support of Félix Thiollier’s heirs, is the first to present a complete overview of the photographer’s work, from when he first began around 1860 to his death in 1914 and highlights the key role of his publications. The winter photographic must is open everyday except Mondays. More info this way.