Le Vieux Modèle

Le Vieux Modèle

Title: The Old Model

Engraved on tissue guard:

Étude d’après nature à l’atelier.
Similigravure GEISLER imprimée par DRAEGER
Papier Grosvenor.


The following profile of Klary,  (1837-  ) art photographer, Director and Founder of the Practical School of Photography in Paris, prolific author on all things photographic and editor of Le Photogramme journal,  appeared in the January, 1896 issue of Wilson’s Photographic Magazine published in New York:

“Among the veteran photographers of France there is none more widely known and esteemed by his co-workers than our old friend and subscriber, Mons. C. Klary, of Paris, whose portrait appears herewith. Having first seen the light at Nancy, in 1837, Mons. Klary is by birth a Frenchman, but by nature a cosmopolitan with a large share of the American in his character, as is shown by the energy and the enthusiastic vitality of his career.

In 1860 Mons. Klary was attached as an operator to the telegraphic department of the French Army, and spent some years in that occupation at Algiers, where as an amateur his attention was first drawn to photography. Resigning his appointment in the army in 1863 he returned to Paris and there and in London took up the serious study of photography as a profession. On the completion of his training in 1865, he returned to Algiers and founded there an extensive photographic establishment. About this time began our pleasant correspondence with him, which has continued to date.

In 1874 he published a manual of photographic manipulation, in which he first made known in Europe the use of a head-screen in studio portraiture, referred to at page 118 of Quarter Century in Photography. Mons. Klary’s manual has been translated into several languages and brought its author his earliest fame in the photographic world.

Returning to Paris in 1879, he built a studio remarkable at that time for its size and completeness of equipment, and during the few years following he busied his camera and pen with equal industry.

In 1884 Mons. Klary’s restless ambition brought him to New York, and he studied American photography for some time in the studio of Mr. W. Kurtz. Then Paris claimed him again, and returning there he took up the work with which he is still identified—the direction of a portrait studio and School of Practical Photography—in which he has enjoyed great success, instructing professional as well as amateur workers. During the last few years he has devoted special attention to the use of artificial light in photography. He is pre-eminently an artist, and his work shows it. In a recent letter he writes:

“All my life I have been a hard worker, although keeping aloof from anything that would seem to be a matter of self-glorification. I have devoted myself chiefly to photography as an art, and, although it has given me many cares and disappointments, I love it as much now as in the early days. Ars longa, vita brevis, however, and I have thought it well to make known my experience and methods. For this I have created this School of Practical Photography, the only one of its kind existing in France. Success has followed my efforts and it is a pleasure.” 1.

1.  Photographers: Old and New: in: Wilson’s Photographic Magazine: Edited and Published by Edward L. Wilson: New York: January, 1896: pp. 31-32

Le Vieux Modèle

Image Dimensions28.4 x 21.0 cm October Planche XIV