Nadar: A Portrait
‘A sort of giant’, with immensely long arms and legs and a mop of bristling red hair, Felix Nadar employed his creative gifts in several different arts and sciences.
On April 6th, 1820, at 195 rue Saint-Honore, a son was born to Therese Mailliet and a merchant by the name of Victor Toumachon. He was duly baptized Gas-pard-Felix. In 1825 there followed a second son, Adrien.
On November 11th, 1826, at the age of fifty-five, M. Toumachon finally married his mistress, and settled down to respectability. In 1836 the family moved to Lyons - the city from which they originated. The following year M. Tournachon died, and Gaspard-Félix found himself with a mother and brother to support.
He had had an irregular education at the College Bourbon in Paris; he now embarked - or so he claimed - on the study of medicine, and he pursued his studies for three years. It is hard to believe that this was true: he had no financial means, and he could only have frequented the hospitals as an amateur observer.
From about 1837 he was forced to look for his living elsewhere: in the local newspaper, Le Journal et fanal du commerce, and L'Eentr'acte lyonnais.