Victor Billaud (attributed to) Family Zola/Charpentier, W. Desmoulin, and Melle. Bernoud Bilhard (sp?) at Royan
Medium Printing-out Paper
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1888c Print Date 1888c
Dimensions 4-9/16 x 6-13/16 in. (116 x 173 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Has a printed fancy red border and period pencil identifications on the recto of the mount. The place is written in pencil on the verso. This image comes from a small group of intimate and very rare Zola photographs. George Charpentier was Zola's friend and editor; Fernand Desmoulin was his friend and engraver, and W. was his brother. Zola is shown with one of his dogs, which he adored. Royan was a holiday destination for Zola in 1887 and August 1888. This image was probably taken on the 1888 trip. A noted author (one of the first to use slang words), Zola was marked by his staunch and famous defense of Alfred Dreyfuss. He was also an amateur photographer, who owned at least ten cameras. Zola counted photographers Nadar, Pierre Petit and Etienne Carjat among his many friends. But Victor Billaud, the writer, poet, editor, and journalist of Royan, who had joined Zola's entourage there in 1888, introduced the writer to photography. There is some question as to who actually took these photographs, but Zola later often set up shots and had friends actually snap the picture. See: Emile-Zola and Massin, Zola Photographer, pl.5 for a variant pose of these three. Provenance: collector Romi; and Andre Jammes.
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