The first photographs of Miss Fernande appeared in a July 1910 edition of L'Étude Académique. She was Jean Agélou's muse and perhaps his lover. He photographed her for several years and her development as a woman is visible in the photos.
We only know her first name and hardly anything is known about her life. On one of her photos, a handwritten text was visible on the back: "My photo in 1912", signed "Fernande". The photo also had a stamp with "Miss Fernande 7, Passage de Flandre Paris XIX". It's possible that she was working as a prostitute and used the photos as business cards. It was not uncommon those days that prostitutes posed for photographers and other artists. Some sources claim that Miss Fernande is Fernande Barrey, but there is no conclusive evidence for this.
Fernande appears on many French postcards, but there are also stereoviews of her, although these are more rare. The paper stereocards in this post are in black and white or with a warm tone and have a size of 8,5 x 17cm. The stereocards are marked with the abbreviation STL and have a number. It's a reference to the publisher Éditions S.T.L. from Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris. They published postcards and stereoviews, including a collection of 45 x 107mm and 6 x 13cm glass stereoviews of the First World War.
I also have two glass stereoviews with images of Fernande in my collection. The first image only contains a number and the publisher is unknown. It looks like the photo was taken during the same shoot as the previous photo. The carpet and the sofa are the same, only the curtain is closed now.
A young Fernande appears on an image from Jules Richard's Atrium collection. She's the girl on the left:
The last photos of Fernande date from 1913 but her photos continued to circulate for a long time. Today, photos of her are very popular on online auction sites and more expensive than Agélou's photos from other models.
- Jean Agélou - De l'académisme à la photographie de charme, Christian Bourdon, 2006