Cultural events

Photography in 100 masterpieces


  • Man Ray (1890-1976). Naked woman. Back view. 1923 Silver print 54 x 47 cms. Acquired to the author in 1958 © MAN RAY TRUST / ADAGP, Paris 2012. BnF, Dpt of Prints and Photographs

    Man Ray (1890-1976). Naked woman. Back view. 1923 Silver print 54 x 47 cms. Acquired to the author in 1958

  • Practical information

  • François-Mitterrand

    Tuesday - Saturday from 10.00am to 7.00pm
    Sunday from 1.00pm to 7.00pm
    except Monday and public holidays

    Full price: 9 €
    Reduced price: 7 €

    2 exhibitions
    Full price: 14 €
    Reduced price: 9 €

    FNAC Reservation: 0892 684 694 (0,34 €/mn all taxes included) and at

from November 13, 2012 to February 17, 2013 François-Mitterrand / François Ier gallery

This exhibition proposes to discover one hundred photographs from the BnF’s collections. The oldest photograph presented – dating back to 1839 - is an experiment carried out by William Fox Talbot. The most recent one was taken in Fos-sur-Mer by Lewis Baltz in 1986 in the framework of the DATAR mission.

The exhibition follows neither chronological nor thematic order; images follow each other according to intellectual and formal parallels. The works have been selected for their beauty, printing quality and origin.

Whether connoisseurs, amateurs or neophytes, visitors can give themselves up to the pleasure of discovering these works.

All types of photographs are presented - portraits, landscapes, nudes, reports, advertisements, scientific photography, etc. The most famous XIXth century and XXth century photographers are represented: Eugène Atget, Félix Nadar, Frantisek Drtikol, Diane Arbus, Edgar Degas, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Raoul Hausmann, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, Etienne-Jules Marey, Brassaï, Julia Margaret Cameron, Rogi André, Josef Sudek, André Kertesz, Bill Brandt, Gustave Le Gray, Gilles Caron. Photographs by unknown artists as well as photographs taken by writers such as Emile Zola, Montesquiou, Victor Hugo’s acquaintances or Victor Segalen have also been selected.

The purpose is not to propose a history of photography in 100 masterpieces but rather to explore the notion of masterpiece in the varied field of photography.

The BnF’s collection is a very old collection; its photographs, from various origins, are sometimes very far from museum archetypes and selecting 100 works among them was a very stimulating exercise. To be consistent with our choices, both classical in the principle and unconventional in the achievement, we have asked 100 personalities who have no relationship with the photographic field to contribute to the catalogue and shortly comment an image.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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