Intertwined Perspectives

Gaby Sylvia et Gérard Philipe dans les rôles de la reine d'Espagne et de Ruy Blas, le 23 février 1954 © Agnès Varda

Gaby Sylvia et Gérard Philipe dans les rôles de la reine d'Espagne et de Ruy Blas, le 23 février 1954 © Agnès Varda

Theatre and Photography Hugo, Nadar, Vilar, Varda, Vitez, Bricage, Honoré, Raynaud de Lage…

6 novembre 2014 au 1er mars 2015


What can we learn from a photographer’s vision of the theatre? Such is the question to which this exhibition hopes to offer a response. This show explores the history and evolution of theatre photography by focusing on four plays by Victor Hugo which continue to fascinate and inspire directors, actors and photographers. Ruy Blas, Mary Tudor, The Burgraves and Angelo, Tyrant of Padua are each represented by two particularly iconic productions from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, illustrated by historical and contemporary photographs.

As early as 1860-1870, theatre and photography had struck up an intimate relationship. Sarah Bernhardt was immortalised in portraits by Nadar and Etienne Carjat in her role as the Queen in Ruy Blas, and such portraits, reproduced in the press, contributed greatly to the burgeoning celebrity of the leading actors of the day. By the turn of the twentieth century, thanks to new technological developments, theatre photographers were able to capture whole scenes, magnificent scenery and all, as witnessed by Henri Manuel’s wonderful shots of the 1905 staging of Angelo, Tyrant of Padua.

The invitation extended to Agnès Varda, whose photographs will be at the heart of this show, will shed new light on the images which captured some of the twentieth century’s most celebrated productions for posterity: Jean Vilar’s Ruy Blas in 1954 with Gérard Philipe, and Mary Tudor in 1955 with Maria Casarès in the title role. Forever associated with the great renaissance of French theatre with the TNP and the Festival d’Avignon, Agnès Varda’s images also offer an unprecedented insight into the goings-on behind the scenes, the life of a theatre company. In the decades which followed, Claude Bricage reasserted the subjectivity of theatre photography with his study of the 1977 production of The Burgraves directed by Antoine Vitez, while independent photographer Christophe Raynaud de Lage offers a new perspective on the cinematic process of Christophe Honoré as he revisits Angelo, Tyrant of Padua in 2009.

Intertwined perspectives which evoke the unique alchemy that binds theatre and photography, the collision of unique interpretations and multiple points of view on the art of drama.

Press area

Plein tarif : 7 €

Tarif réduit : 5 € (de 18 à 26 ans, titulaire de la carte Navigo Emeraude Améthyste...)
Regards croisés
19 x 27,5 cm
112p.  50 reproductions
Editions Paris Musées
Prix public : 28 €


Ouverte du mardi au dimanche de 10 h à 18h.


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