Préparation du n°3 = Conversation autour de Van Gogh
The third issue of Nicéphore, cahier de photographies, is anounced for next month. After the selfportrait of Gustave Le Gray and the silhouette of an anxious Charles Baudelaire, the 112 pages publication describes the complete investigation about a pair of direct positives melanotypes on paper depicting a group of Paris artists. Found in a group of autographs letters of a Parisian antiquarian book dealer who build in the 1920’s Myriam de Rotschild’s collection, they had been waiting some attention for nearly a century.
In conversation with Vincent Van Gogh are Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Félix Jobbé-Duval. Standing between them André Antoine. Isolated and lonesome on the second plate we recognize Paul Signac. The location, identified as the courtyard of the “Salle de répétitions du Théatre Libre” proposed by André Antoine as a free exhibition hall to young artists, suggests the photographs correspond to the little known exhibition Van Gogh shared with Seurat and Signac, exhibition which originated a dispute with Bernard.
The collodions bear the stamp of an exclusive distributor “Gautier-Martin” but no signature, they could be attributed to the Theo Van Gogh friend, Jules Antoine, art critic of the Neo-impressionism movement, brother of André Antoine and amateur photographer.
Then these collodions not only show us for the first time the face of Vincent van Gogh but document the exact moment when a group of artists in 1887 brought art in revolution.