Lucien Clergue (1934 - 2014)
Born at Arles, France, Lucien Clergue originally studied violin but owing to financial constraints was unable to pursue advanced musical studies. In the late 1940s, Clergue turned to photography, a discipline which he mastered through personal study and experimentation. A turning point in his career came when, in the early 1950s, he showed some of his work to Pablo Picasso, who provided encouragement by asking to see other examples. During the next two years, Clergue refined his skills and developed a series of photographs depicting Les Saltimbanques, groups of traveling performers and acrobats then relatively commonplace in France. In late 1955, the ambitious young man finally visited Picasso, beginning a thirty year friendship that lasted until the great artist’s death.
With his friend Michel Tournier, Clergue established the annual Rencontres d’Arles photography festival; he is widely recognized for his photographs documenting the lives of the gypsies of southern France and numerous iconic portraits of his friend Picasso. His work, shown in more than one hundred exhibitions during his career, is held in numerous institutions and private collections throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Fogg Museum at Harvard University. In 2003, Clergue was named Knight of the Légion d’honneur and in 2006 was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institute of France. He died at Nîmes.
Portrait d'une Femme
Silver gelatin print, edition of 20. Image size 9½" x 14-3/16"; sheet size 11¼" x 15-13/16". Numbered 4/20 and signed by Lucien Clergue in ink in the lower margin. A beautiful image in fine condition. Ex Forbes Collection of Fine Art.