Tuesday, 13 June 2017


Looking almost like a Boudin paintings, this is an early photograph by Jacques Henri Lartigue (born on this day in 1894). Captioned 'Cousin Caro and M. Planetvigne', it was taken at Villerville in 1906, the year in which young Jacques Henri turned 12. Was there ever a more naturally gifted photographer than Lartigue? His early pictures - of friends and family enjoying themselves, and of motor races, tennis and aviation - are bursting with life and energy, spontaneous yet somehow perfectly composed. And they're astonishing technical feats, considering the relatively primitive equipment at his disposal. When these photographs were rediscovered in the 1960s, they made Lartigue famous - and deservedly so.
 Lartigue was a painter too, and I was pleased to learn that his son Dany, who is also a painter, is a noted entomologist, specialising in butterflies. (Talking of which, I saw my first Ringlets of the year today - an unexpected joy.)

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