the Carmel

The retouched photos of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

The retouching work done by Céline

In many books on Thérèse, we find photos of her retouched by her sister Céline. These retouched photos contribute to spreading a false image of Thérèse: a sentimental young woman in rose water. Clicking on each of these 22 retouched photos makes it possible to understand who the real Thérèse was.

Celine took all of these photos, except the first 6, and retouched them all for a specific purpose. She knows that "the soul cannot be described... je ne sais quoi which gives, as much as possible, with life, the true resemblance of the soul on a face, this is what I have always and only wanted to grasp and reveal to others. (1950). Hence the many retouchings, in gouache, pencil or charcoal, sometimes with montages.

Generally speaking, comments the Carmelite Father Francis of Sainte-Marie, the impression of will and power that emerges from the original photos is destroyed by the retouching. Thérèse appears less in possession of her faculties: she becomes a little girl who wants to please, who wants to be very nice. The features no longer carry that reflection of intelligence that illuminates the original photos. The extraordinary lucidity of his gaze disappears.

Attention ! these photos are not free of rights.

For any use contact the Central Office of Lisieux either by email either at 02-3148-5520.