Nadar is not just one of the most celebrated photographers of all time but also one of the most interesting and versatile figures of the 19th century. Nadar’s adventures are many and all extraordinary: passionate about hot-air balloons, he built Le Géant, an enormous hot-air balloon that inspired the novels and characters of his writer friend Jules Verne. In 1859, he took the first aerial shots ever. Two years later, he photographed with artificial lighting, from lamps fueled with Bunsen batteries, the catacombs and sewers of Paris. In 1870, during the Prussian siege of Paris, he organized hot-air balloons that broke enemy lines. In 1874, he held the first exhibition of impressionist painters, with whom he was in close contact. His portraits stand out for their ability to grasp the psychological qualities of the sitters, normally photographed in three-quarter poses, thanks to their nonchalance and skilled use of light and shadow.