TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Baku through lens of French photographer

20 December 2021 [12:10] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Laman Ismayilova

The National Art Museum has showcased the photo works of Paul Nadar (1856-1939), who went down in history as an outstanding street photographer.

The exhibition "Paul Nadar: the Extraordinary Journey to Baku" is being held in Baku for the first time.

Around 70 photographs are displayed at the exhibition co-organized by the French Embassy in Baku and the French Institute in Azerbaijan in partnership with the Culture Ministry and National Art Museum.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Culture Sevda Mammadaliyeva noted that the exhibition opened within the cultural ties between Azerbaijan and France.

The Deputy Minister of Culture stressed that earlier in different years the museum had organized exhibitions dedicated to the art of France.

He  emphasized that Azerbaijan's rich historical and cultural heritage has always aroused great interest of travelers and foreign art representatives, including Paul Nadar.

She stressed that Paul Nadar is one of the famous and talented photographers of his time.

His photographs taken in Azerbaijan are of great importance as documentary evidence of Baku at the end of the 19th century.

During his visit to Baku, Paul Nadar captured the unique architectural samples of the city, Gosha-Gala Gates, Shirvanshahs' Palace, local residents, etc.

French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zachary Gross informed the visitors about the activities of Paul Nadar.

Paul Nadar (1856-1939), was the son of the no less famous Felix Nadar (1820-1910), one of the pioneers of the art of photography in France in the 19th century and the founder of Nadar, the prestigious photography company.

he portraits of his contemporaries made by Felix Nadar are expressive images of famous personalities of France, among them Victor Hugo, Georges Sand and others.

In his work, Paul Nadar wanted to create modern photography that would reflect real life. In 1890, he accepted an offer to travel from Paris to Istanbul, and then to Tbilisi, Baku and Tashkent.

Paul Nadar took about a thousand photographs, these photographs were subsequently presented at international exhibitions and conferences. Now they are stored in France in the archives of the multimedia library of architecture and heritage under the French Culture Ministry.

"These photographs, taken 130 years ago, provide us with an opportunity to look at Baku of that time through the eyes of a French photographer. I believe that the exhibition will contribute to the expansion of cultural ties between France and Azerbaijan," the Ambassador added.

Next, the exhibition curator Konul Rafiyeva provided insight into the details of the exhibition. She noted that dozens of photos selected for the exhibition are the modern printouts of the original negatives stored in the photographic archives of the Architecture and Heritage Multimedia Library within the French Culture Ministry.

The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections: "The Great  Portraits", "Baku" and "Travel to Turkestan".

Then a short documentary film "Paul Nadar's Baku voyage" was screened as part of the event.

The film was produced by photographer and historian Rustam Huseynov, curator Konul Rafiyeva and composer Araz Ozara.

Note that Paul Nadar arrived in Istanbul on August 18, 1890. After crossing the Black Sea, he reached the port of Batumi and then Baku.

The places that Paul Nadar visited during his stay in Baku in 1890 looked different from what they are now.

Therefore, his photographs are documentary evidence of the great importance of Azerbaijan's capital at the end of the 19th century.

The photographer captured images of Baku's unique architecture, shops and crowd full bazaars, local residents, wandering merchants and much more.

Some of the locations in the photographs of Nadar taken in 1890 are recognizable even today, while others have completely changed their appearance.

The exhibition is being held at the National Art Museum of Azerbaijan from December 18, 2021 to February 15, 2022.

The exhibition is organized by the French Embassy in Azerbaijan and the French Institute in Azerbaijan in cooperation with the Culture Ministry and the National Art Museum. The curator of the exposition is Kenul Rafieva.

Media partners of the event are,,,


Print version

Views: 924

Connect with us. Get latest news and updates.

Recommend news to friend

  • Your name:
  • Your e-mail:
  • Friend's name:
  • Friend's e-mail: