Victor Hugo on his deathbed

  • Nadar (1820-1910)

  • 22 May 1885
  • Albumen photograph
  • MVHPPH0631.1
  • Victor Hugo’s house, Paris

When Victor Hugo died, artists crowded around the deceased as was required for the traditional mortuary portrait. They included the painters Bonnat, Glaize, Laugée and the sculptor Dalou who had an impression made by his moulder Amédée Bertault, and, of course, his faithful friend and photographer Nadar whose photographs were widely circulated. In a fine light and contrast effect, Nadar seems to echo the last words spoken by Hugo: “I can see black light.”