Napoli Sublime – Jean-Luc Dubin

An exceptional photographic exploration of the city of Naples. A sociological and photographic dialogue between visual artist Jean Luc Dubin and social scientist Florian Villain. Both art object and documentary, this homage to Neapolitans will intrigue and enchant all lovers of the city.

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Jean Luc Dubin is a traveller-photographer. As a photographer, he opens himself to the emergence in and through the images, immersing himself to the point of disappearing so that his contact sheets make all the outbreaks subliminal appear that escape the first glances. As a traveller, he is always on the track of ‘poetic images’ in human societies and, since 2017, it is the images of Naples that have beguiled him. In this city that grew up around the base of Vesuvius, he explores the ambivalence of a thousand-year-old populace and shows us facets inaccessible to the average visitor.

Combining ‘deep blacks’ with ‘fragmented whites’, his photos reveal a hitherto unseen aspect of the city, a cartography in which sociological enquiry meets powerful evocation of the richest popular traditions. Never has the veil been drawn so far back on the city of Napoli. Never has a photographer so thoroughly captured the soul of Neapolitans.

Napoli Sublime is the story of an encounter

Between a photographer and a city
Jean Luc Dubin had already visited Naples when he rediscovered the city in 2017. He returned from this new encounter with an initial series of shots in hand, a veritable aesthetic revelation that drew him back in and planted the seed of a more in-depth study.

Between a sociologist and a photographer
With a view to sustaining his research, Jean Luc Dubin made the acquaintance of Florian Villain, lecturer in philosophy, with a teaching and research post at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Caen. Florian Villain is working on a thesis on the ‘metamorphoses of the sacred in Naples’, a city to which he has a deep and long-standing attachment.

The desire came about to prolong this encounter through a dialogue on the images produced by Jean Luc Dubin. Florian Villain explains the importance of appearances as a form of protection in the construction of Naples, reminding us that the city’s streets are ‘like scenes from a stageplay’. According to the sociologist, Neapolitans can only be fully understood if we look beyond what they deign to show us. Jean Luc Dubin has managed to discover what lies behind the mask. Fascinated by the primitive beauty of the real and guided by what Florian Villain calls ‘a gaze without a gaze’, his contention with Naples and its inhabitants comes without interpretation and without resort to spirituality. His street photos are a sort of social distillation, triggered by the instant magic of stimulus. Jean Luc Dubin shows a profound interest in the objects associated with the Hegelian concept of the positivity of religion, namely all the rules and rites internalised by individuals. He considers that when humanity’s interactions take place to the backdrop of its beliefs, an intense aesthetic reaction is produced, immersed in the fervour of our relationship to the preter- and supernatural.

Napoli Sublime is a homage to Naples and Neapolitans

In the course of its history, Naples has surmounted many disasters and constant threats that have created long-lasting behaviours among its inhabitants. Regularly living under foreign domination, the city has experienced invasions, epidemics and murderous eruptions without ever losing its identity.

“Rare are the travellers who survive the encounter with Neapolitans and their city without becoming dazzled. Most are blinded by the clichés that, when not peddling an idealised imagery of the past, circulate the undignified portrait of these Lazzaroni and their supposedly dirty and ill-famed streets. Even when they believe they have managed to rid themselves of these stereotypes, these travellers are no less awed. Trapped in the irresistible glare of the ‘sensation of the moment’ (Stendhal), this time it is Naples the city, with its apparent excesses, extremes and eccentricities, that dazes and overwhelms them. These, then, the Scylla and Charybdis rising up on either side of those who still hope to see something of Parthenope and its people.


And it is once again by cunning that Jean Luc avoids the pitfalls. This craft doesn’t however equate to deceit, as no ‘evil eye’, no gaze of a caster of spells, a jettatore, a person meaning harm, disrupting his focal length, can be detected in this gaze without a gaze. Quite the opposite. His cunning is a creative cunning, worthy of the ingenuity of the ‘sons of the Siren’ with whom Giambattista Marin proudly identified and who tell us that, in Naples, the true, authentic, aesthetic experience is of the order of the sublime, not in as far as it is accomplished through exaltation and transcendence of the sweet pleasures of the senses, but, on the contrary, in that it can only be accomplished by means of their silence, in which the profundity of goings-on beyond the visible is revealed.”

Florian Villain.

The book

Authors : Philippe Vilain, writer, essayist, collection director, takes a text from his book Mille Couleurs de Naples published in 2020 and Marc Goldschmit also signs a critical essay on the Neapolitan work of Jean Luc Dubin.
Born in 1967, Marc Goldschmit is a philosopher and President and Director of the International College of Philosophy . He is notably the author of a book on the secret philosophy of Walter Benjamin and a book on Jacques Derrida: Jacques Derrida, une introduction (Agora Pocket, 2003).

Photographer : Jean-Luc Dubin

128 pages
Format 20 x 28 cm
Bilingual French/Italian.

Ex – Votographes, sewn and burned objects: an artistic work that supplements Jean Luc Dubin’s approach to photography.
These small concessions to reality are fruit of the relationship Jean Luc Dubin has with the Ex-Votos that enrich the terrestrial and divine life of Naples. They come very naturally to him. The candles that keep vigil all over the city were the inspiration for the Brûlés (burned objects). The Cousus (sewn objects) represent an essential feminine presence. The thread symbolises the idea of relationship, of sharing. These Cousages were created by the sculptor Jocelyne Bouquin. All these objects are made from Japan paper. Awagami, Inbe or Kozo, long fibres of the bramble or bamboo, they are printed (pigment ink) and then mounted on all kinds of media. Jean Luc Dubin creates these typically Neapolitan objects, christened “street-smart art of spontaneous harmonisations” by Florian Villain. They are between 6 and 70 cm in height and are mounted on mineral – pebbles, silex, slate – or plant – wood, bark – media. Sometimes they are made solely of paper, card and a few coats of varnish. Some transformed objects were given to him by his Neapolitan friends in the narrow streets of the Centro Storico where the nativity scenes are created.

With Jocelyne Bouquin, sculptor. Jocelyne Bouquin sews, weaves, repairs, connects and assembles the constituent elements of the Ex-Votographies, which pay tribute to Neapolitan women.


Prints to choose (85€, 200€, 300€ & 1200€ rewards).

Specify your choice in the order notes before payment.

100€ Rewards

The Ex-Votographies are broken down as follows:

– rock crystal tears,

– sewn,

– burns

And sometimes a happy mixture of one or the other of these techniques. This means that each of these Ex-Votographies is a unique copy.

Here are some examples of what you can choose from Jean-Luc Dubin



1200€ Rewards

A copy of the first edition of the book signed and numbered (20 copies) in a metal case.

The Metal Case includes also 3 silver prints in 18×24 cm format on Ilford paper (silver print).

A purse containing 3 tears (Rock Crystal).


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A 13 x 18 print chosen by the photographer

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The book at the exceptional price of 50 € instead of 59€, including shipping

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The book for 50€
+ A silver print in 18x24 cm format on Ilford paper. Visual to choose from the selection at the bottom of the page.

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Two books for a unit price of 45€ including shipping

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The book (including postage)
+ An Ex-votography to choose from Jean-Luc Dubin (illustration at the bottom of the page).

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The book (including postage)
+ A crochet purse, lined, made by Jocelyne Bouquin, containing 3 "tears" (rock crystal)

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The book (shipping included)
+ A 24 x 30 cm silver print signed.
Visual to choose from the selection at the bottom of the page.

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26 Rewards left

One copy of the first edition of the book signed and numbered (30 copies) in a cardboard case, including one 24 x 30cm silver print numbered and signed (from 1 to 30 copies).
Visual to choose from the selection at the bottom of the page.
+ An Ex - Votography, burned, Veiled Christ, Museo Capella Sansevero", each copy is unique (18x26cm)
+ A colophon

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19 Rewards left

This series is offered in the form of a metal box full of secrets that Jean Luc Dubin could have discovered in the depths of Naples. Manufactured individually & limited to 20 numbered copies, it contains the book Napoli Sublime with a special graphic intervention of the author
+ 3 silver prints (18x24 cm, numbered & signed, series of 20 copies + 2 author's copies, dry stamp, visual to choose from the selection at the bottom of the page).
+ A crochet purse, lined, made by Jocelyne Bouquin, containing 3 "tears" (rock crystal)
+ A colophon

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Trip to Naples, 3 nights/4 days Flight from Paris, flight, accommodation in a flat in the historic district & guide included (with Jean Luc Dubin and a good friend from Naples who will guide you for 3 half days through the maze of the Centro Storico ). Other expenses at your charge (visits and meals)
+ The book signed and dedicated by Jean Luc Dubin.

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Name Donate Amount Date
Maud DHENIN 25,00 September 02, 2021
Elisabeth Cognyl 15,00 August 09, 2021
Brigitte Grosdemange 100,00 July 08, 2021
Olivier Thiebaut 30,00 July 14, 2021
Magali VILAIN 50,00 July 24, 2021
nicole Perruchet 50,00 July 21, 2021
christiane leprevost 30,00 July 18, 2021
Georges DUBIN 1 200,00 July 12, 2021
Roland Vialy 130,00 July 11, 2021
Pia Copper 50,00 July 11, 2021
Alain Legrand 150,00 July 11, 2021
Joël HEUILLON 50,00 July 10, 2021
anne marie bonnardot 130,00 July 09, 2021
Anne Goujaud 50,00 July 08, 2021
Anatole Desachy 50,00 July 07, 2021
Anonymous 85,00 July 07, 2021
Isabelle Delvallee 50,00 July 05, 2021
Anonymous 90,00 July 03, 2021
Marie-José Pillet 100,00 July 01, 2021
benoit quirot 85,00 July 01, 2021
Serge Alvarez 50,00 July 01, 2021
Christine Martin 50,00 June 30, 2021
Anonymous 50,00 June 29, 2021
Jonas Teboul 85,00 June 28, 2021
Marika Leccia 30,00 June 26, 2021
Ninian Hubert van Blijenburgh 310,00 June 25, 2021
Anonymous 1 000,00 June 23, 2021
MICHEL BROSSET 50,00 June 22, 2021
Marie-Christine Lacour 90,00 June 20, 2021
Danielle JOUAIRE 20,00 June 18, 2021
Catherine Bazin Mesnage 50,00 June 17, 2021
Carine Lorenzoni 300,00 June 17, 2021
Ludovic MOREL 300,00 June 16, 2021

1 review for Napoli Sublime – Jean-Luc Dubin

  1. :
    1 out of 5

    Le photographe français nous propose un voyage hors norme dans la ville de Naples. Il est rare que le voyageur aille à la rencontre des Napolitains et de leur ville sans être aveuglé. Les photographies napolitaines de Jean-Luc Dubin se gardent remarquablement de cet écueil.

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