French photographer and his journey to City of Winds [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
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.
The National Art Museum has hosted the conference "Paul Nadar, from Istanbul to Tashkent through the Caucasus".
The conference was timed to the exhibition "Paul Nadar: the Extraordinary Journey to Baku" which runs from December 18, 2021 to February 15, 2022.
The exhibited photographs have been presented in Azerbaijan for the first time.
The project is co-organized by the French Embassy in Azerbaijan and the Institut Français d'Azerbaïdjan in cooperation with the Culture Ministry and the National Art Museum. The exposition is curated by Konul Rafiyeva.
Speaking at the conference, the director of the Institut Français d'Azerbaïdjan Jerome Kelle noted that the event was organized within the framework of cultural ties between Azerbaijan and France.
He pointed out that Paul Nadar is one of the famous and talented photographers of his time.
During his visit to Baku, Paul Nadar captured the city's unique architecture including Gosha-Gala Gate, the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, as well as representatives of the local population.
The exhibition "Paul Nadar: the Extraordinary Journey to Baku" showcases around 70 photographs.
Deputy director for the museum's scientific work, Ph.D. in Art History Khadija Asadova named the exposition one of the museum's brightest projects.
"Until now, many photographers have taken photo works dedicated to the Azerbaijani history and culture, including Paul Nadar. His photographs make it possible to travel through the history of Baku city at the end of the 19th century. It is no coincidence that the exhibition has attracted great public interest since its opening," she added.
In her speech, the project curator Konul Rafiyeva stressed the importance of the project. She underlined that these photographs were printed from original negatives kept in the archives of the French Culture Ministry. Paul Nadar's photo report serves as a documentary about Baku.
"Through his photography, Paul Nadar shows Baku's unique architecture, its local residents, shops and lively markets and much more. Some of the locations in the photographs taken in 1890 are recognizable today while others have completely changed their appearance," said Konul Rafiyeva.
The director of the French Culture Ministry's Architecture and Heritage Media Library, an expert on Nadar collections Mathilde Falguiere took part in the conference virtually.
She contributed to the exhibition catalog "The Nadar Family, Legend of Photography" in 2018 and co-authored the book "Paul Nadar - Pairam, A Dialogue of Photography on the Silk Road".
During the conference, Mathilde Falguiere provided insight into the work and trips of the French photographer.
The conference was followed by various discussions.
Photo credits: Kamran Baghirov
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