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Title: Rosine Stolz.
Author : NADAR (Gaspard Félix TOURNACHON, known as) (1820 - 1910)
Dimensions: Height 24.2 - Width 16
Technique and other indications: Salted paper proof, between 1854 and 1860.
Storage location: Orsay Museum website
Contact copyright: © Musée d'Orsay, Dist Rmn / Patrice Schmidt
Picture reference: 94-051696 / PHO1991-2-57
© Musée d'Orsay, Dist Rmn / Patrice Schmidt
Publication date: November 2010
The Opera after the reign of his favorite
Its status as the cultural capital of Europe did not prevent Paris, under the Second Empire, from having more and more difficulty in retaining great foreign artists. This photograph is in fact part of a series of photographic portraits of contemporary artists which can be compared to the lithographic galleries of previous decades.
Recapture the glory of the past
Leaving Paris in 1847, the singer returned there in 1854-1855 for a few performances, and it was probably during this stay that Nadar immortalized her. His shot gives an idea of the haughty character of the artist who, with his eyes raised and his face turned slightly to the left, is three-quarter length. Her hairstyle and the shawl she draped herself in make her look like a Spanish girl. This skilfully studied outfit is certainly intended to uphold the legend she built around her origins, as she claimed to be of noble and Iberian descent.
An enigmatic artist
Posterity has retained more memories of the Italians than of the Opera in the 1840s, except Duprez. The Stoltz has, however, throughout his career, unleashed passions, those of men, the press and the public. When she returned to the Opera in 1854, the singer still enjoyed the fame that her talents as an actress and the beauty of her contralto voice, particularly admired in her favorite role, Léonore de The Favorite, have earned him during the previous decade. Very quickly, however, the picture darkens due to his scandalous privacy and character. Tyrannical mistress of the director of the Opera, she imposes her will on everyone, singers and composers, which has earned her the vilification of a minority but virulent section of the press. It was following a hostile public demonstration at the Paris Opera that she decided to bid him farewell and pursue her career abroad and in the provinces.
Gustave CHOUQUET, History of dramatic music in France from its origins to the present day, Paris, Firmin-Didot, 1873 Etienne HUGNY, To Madame la comtesse de Ketschendorf (Rosina Stoltz): Wandering leaves, poetic essays, Paris, A. Lefrançois, 1870. Jean-Louis TAMVACO, Les Cancans de l'Opéra, a dresser's diary (1836-1848), Paris, C.N.R.S., 2000.
To cite this article
Stella ROLLET, "Rosine Stoltz"