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Monday, 19 January 2009

Jean-Baptiste Tournassoud

Mrs Deane
very kindly sent me a image byJean-Baptiste Tournassoud. It reminded her of my Isabel flora series. These images are from the family life series on the link above and they are just wonderful - fresh, unmannered and filled with tenderness and love.

Much, much more is on the Tournassoud website, including this biography highlighting his early experimentation with autochromes.

"Tournassoud's love for photography develops very early on. In 1900, he befriends the Lumiere brothers and becomes, along with them, one of the very first photographers to experience with the Autochrome. Whether at home with his family or away on assignments, Tournassoud will take several thousands of photographs -in black and white and in color- ranging from scenes of military life including the First World War, portraits, family life, landscapes and still lives. The World War gives him an opportunity to carry out many photographic missions on the front line: these missions brought him a special mention for "invaluable services rendered in the line of duty". In October 1918, he is named director of the army's Photographic and Cinematographic Section within the office of the Minister of War, George Clemenceau.

In 1920, Major Tournassoud retires from the army after 32 years of service and moves to his native Montmerle where he will devote himself to photography until the end of his life. Back in his village he becomes a photographer of animals. His "portraits" of animals gives him great notoriety especially when he publishes his work on "the great French thorough-bred horses". Tournassoud would also take photographs of his surroundings including industrial landscapes, monuments and cities. With the eye of a painter and an excellent knowledge of the rules of composition he will produce spectacular still life imagery. Using people from his village as models, he will stage scenes of daily life to illustrate the folklore, traditions, and the different crafts of his region."


Adam said...

I'd be interested to know your take on Tierney Gearon's photos of her kids. I personally really like them and can see her love for her children and the rush of life that surrounds them, all in a slightly more manic way than other examples. All in a very different context and maybe more from the kids level than as an adult observer?

colin pantall said...

I don't know Adam. They stick with you, but I don't know how much I like them or how much they are more to do with Tierney Gearon than her kids who I never really get a sense of - they remain pretty anonymous to me.

I like her mother work more (haven't seen the film yet), maybe because there is more to compete with and work with) and her double exposures look fabulous - (how many people are doing multiple exposures nowadays - it's like everything in those How to Photograph books is coming back).