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Photography

Charles Nègre. A protean artist

90 min visit

Grasse
Museum of Art and History of Provence
19 May → 5 Sep 2021
Every day from 10am to 7pm (summer)

« On the occasion of the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Nègre (1820-1880), the city of Grasse has decided to pay tribute to him through a rich programme!  »

Much more than a photographer, he is an avant-garde and multiple artist. A student of Ingres and Delaroche, Charles Nègre is above all a painter. In 1944 he decided to devote himself fully to photography, without forgetting painting. What he likes above all is the instantaneousness of photography, to capture the event at a precise moment. And finally, he will always go back and forth between the two artistic mediums: he sometimes captures a scene and retranscribes it onto a canvas. Charles Nègre was also a great technician: he invented his own process of heliogravure with passage in a gold bath. The pictures have both the finesse and precision of a photograph, and the depth of colour of engraving. Long unknown to the general public, he was part of the first generation of photographers with Eugène Atget, Henri le Sec, Gustave le Gray, Hippolyte Bayard... who contributed to the massive diffusion of photography. If, like them, he did not participate in the French heliographic mission, Charle Nègre decided of his own free will to document the Provencal coastline. Until the end of his life, he systematically took pictures for the purpose of documentation, notably of genre scenes taken from everyday life in the street. In 1991, a book by his grand-nephew, Joseph Nègre, La Riviera de Charles Nègre, was published, reproducing several pictures of the Côte d'Azur and its hinterland. The Museum of Art and History of Provence has a vast collection of his works, both photographic and heliographic, as well as pictorial. An incredible artistic and scientific heritage that the artist's native town wishes to pass on. A tribute that will continue until next autumn with the exhibition of Michel Graniou, a contemporary photographer with a modern practice. Ticket on site.

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