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Jacques Henri Lartigue

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Jacques Henri Lartigue


Postby forrado » April 28th, 2020, 12:30 am

The boy who photographed La Belle Époque and, some claim, in doing so invented the snapshot.

As a little boy of seven or eight, Jacques Henri Lartigue was given his first camera, and soon was developing his own photographs. Born into a prosperous family, from childhood Lartigue acutely observed the social rituals of the upper echelons of society through his photography. The hand-held Kodak camera, first introduced in 1888, granted the young photographer flexibility to capture the fine details of eccentric family members at home, the elaborate social parade in the Bois de Boulogne, on the beach in Normandy and beyond. Classic images of motor cars and high fashion sit alongside previously unpublished photographs from the Lartigue archive. These images of family beau-monde and demi-monde life are not only evidence of a prodigious talent, but also offer an intimate, adolescent perspective of Belle-Époque Paris, the world of Proust, Debussy and the Nabis, before the outbreak of the First World War.

At a young age Lartigue mastered the medium of photography: this exploration of his extraordinary childhood is interwoven with a social and cultural portrait of the Belle Époque. Bonnard and Vuillard used the camera as a reference point for painting, Eugène Atget documented the architecture of the old Paris ahead of its developers, but Lartigue was the first to harness the immediacy of the snapshot, often capturing his subjects mid-gesture as in real life, creating a new visual language for the 20th century.

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Re: Jacques Henri Lartigue


Postby redsturgeon » April 28th, 2020, 11:18 am

I saw this article on the BBC website and found it very interesting. The "snapshot" nature of these early photos made them look very much more modern than most photos of the time (or perhaps just the one's that have survived).

I was amazed at some of the shots of subjects in mid motion, I had thought that lengthy exposures were necessary in those days.

His shots of the incredibly dressed women of Paris were also incredible, some were wearing practically a whole menagerie.


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