Public days: 3 - 5 November 2023

The captain of the French rugby team, Pascal Laporte, poses to simulate a play

Early 20th century
Reproduction by Ivo Meldolesi
© Intesa Sanpaolo Historical Archives, photography section

The photograph shows Pascal Laporte, the French rugby champion from the early 1900s, for whom the stadium of the city of Nantes was named, in honour of his sporting achievements.

The shot was made for an illustrated magazine, a publishing genre much in vogue at the time, and it shows the athlete in his uniform, simulating a play.

A century ago, sports photography was very different from what it is today, because the available tools did not make it possible to capture movement. Athletes were asked to pose, somethings – as in this case – in an indoor setting, and to reproduce the typical gestures of their sport, as in a sort of tableau vivant.

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