The Detaille: a saga of photographers
La toilette, Genève, 1900 © Fernand Detaille / Courtesy Galerie Detaille
"Lézard d'hiver" Marseille vers, 1930 © Albert Detaille Courtesy / Galerie Detaille
"Phare sur la côte méditerranéenne", 1935 © Fernand Detaille / Courtesy Galerie Detaille
"Musiques de la lumiére" Marseille, 1955 © Albert Detaille / Courtesy Galerie Detaille
"Mosaïques de lignes et de courbes", Marseille, 2008 © Gérard Detaille / Courtesy Galerie Detaille
"Blondeur orientale", Marseille 2006 ©Gérard Detaille / Courtesy Galerie Detaille
An exhibition at the Galerie Detaille tells the family saga of Detaille, three generations of photographers (with a fourth on the way) and one of the country’s most enduring studios. It all began with Fernand Detaille, who served as an apprentice for Fred Boissonnas in Geneva, who in turn encouraged Detaille to collaborate with Nadar in Marseille. Detaile moved into his famous studio on the rue Noailles in 1902.
Like his mentor, he made portraits, which is how he came to photograph King Hassan II, Charlie Chaplin, Josephine Baker, Fernandel and Marcel Pagnol, Louis Brauquier, Charles de Gaulle, Paul Valéry, and Yehudi Menuhin, among others. Unlike his illustrious mentor, however, Fernand Detaille didn’t limit himself to portraiture. He strove promote Marseille and the region. He went on to publish a book on Egypt in 1907, and later, with André Chevrillon, “Visions du Marc” following a voyage there in 1933. He also trained his son, Albert Detaille, born in 1903 in Marseille.
Starting in his childhood, Albert made friends with the artists who frequented the family studio, which led him to enroll in the École des Beaux Arts. He graduated with a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish in photography. He first opened a painting gallery inside his studio. Like his father, he set out to document his region (Provence, Corsica, Marseille) and to highlight the beauty of its architecture— all while encouraging his own son, Gérard, to take up the family practice. When this latest scion attempted to organize the work of his father and grandfather, they shooed him out of the house: “Don’t worry about all these antiques, go take some pictures of the port!”
Taking into consideration the rapid changes in photography, especially the market for it, Gérard relocated their studio to a more commercial area. He took orders from new centers of economic power, like the industrial sites on the Euro-Mediterranean border and in the south of France.
This is the story told by the exhibition and the accompanying book, through vintage photographs and thirty modern prints using negatives. It offers a historical panorama of Provence, Marseille and the region across the century.
Trois Générations de photographes
Until January 28, 2012
5-7 rue Marius Jauffret
Wednesday to Saturday 11 - 19h
Trois générations de photographes
Photographs by Fernand, Albert and Gérard Detaille
Text by Pierre Échinard, Gabriel Chakra and Caroline Guiol.
240 pages 260 x 310mm