Artist(s): Jacques Henri-Lartigue
Author(s): Mary Blume
Year published: 1997
Publisher Location: Paris
Total Pages: 144
Illustrations: Illustrated in B&W throughout
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Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894-1986), celebrated photographer, and one of the greatest practitioners the medium has ever known, discovered the Riviera with his first camera in the company of his wealthy family when he was just eleven years old. For the rest of his life Lartigue was a regular visitor of the Cote d’Azur, taking many of his finest pictures in Nice, Cannes, Cap d’Ail, Antibes, Menton, and Monaco.
This splendid volume is the first book to bring together a large selection of these photographs which are accompanied by a lively, informative text. Not only did Lartigue document the elegant resort life of the leisure class of which he was a member – in the villas, hotels, beach clubs, and casinos where they lived and played – but he also created an intimate chronicle of the life he shared on the Riviera with his beautiful first wife Bibi, during the 1920s, his companion Renee Perle, in 1930-31, and Florette whom he married in 1942.
Apart from the stunning black-and-white images for which Lartigue is celebrated – including his ground-breaking panoramic photographs of the coastline – Lartigue’s Riviera also reveals an important group of little-known and rarely published color photographs. The world ski-jumping championships in Juan-les-Pins, filming Les Aventures du roi Pausole in Cap d’Antibes, the Ziegfeld Follies girls in Monte Carlo, alternate here with the daily life of Lartigue and his friends – stopping for lunch in St Tropez, exercising on the beach in Cannes, drinking an aperitif at sunset at Cap d’Ail.
Among the most beautiful – and often funny and poignant – photographs ever taken, Lartigue’s pictures of the Riviera will come as a revelation to those who will be discovering them for the first time, and as a welcome glimpse of the sunlight and glamour for which he is so admired by his devoted fans.