The portraits, the writings and the history: remarks on the social trajectory and biographical narrative of a 19th century photographer

Lygia Segala

The social trajectory of French Republican Victor Frond (1821-1881), together with his work as a photographer in Brazil and as editor of luxury illustrated books, underscore particular traits about the relationship between biography and portrait in the eighteen hundreds. His autobiographical narrative, written in a bid to win recognition from Parisian authorities of the Third Republic, suggests a portrait that is embedded in history. In contrast, in his biographical albums composed of notable personalities, the portrait surpasses the immediate context of the photographic pose. It floats above the events of the day, immortalising the subject, as it conceives the text as apology.

Biography; Social memory; Photography; Victor Frond; the 19th century


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