Lartigue: The Photographer of Modern Life

By Marie Botkin.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Although Baudelaire was disinclined to accept photography as an art, if he had lived to see the work of Jacques-Henri Lartigue a half century later, he may very well have shifted his opinion to admit photography could be art and portray greatness. His desire to see the epic side of everyday life could be used to describe the work of the photographer Lartigue, who began photographing his family at a young age and continued to broaden his circle of subjects to fashionable women, along with other subjects, as he grew older.

Lartigue’s work, unacknowledged for the most part at the time, shows a modernist sensibility much like that in the fashion illustrations of Constantin Guys, who was Baudelaire’s Painter of Modern Life. Like Guys’ illustrations Lartigue’s photos capture ephemeral moments of early modern Paris. Lartigue’s photos from the Belle Epoque elevate photography out of the realm of documentation and portraiture to give the viewer images that are complex in composition, human expression, and movement.

Keywords: Lartigue, Photography, Baudelaire, Modernity, Aesthetics, Belle Epoque

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.209-214. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 487.861KB).

Dr. Marie Botkin

Georgia Southern University, Georgia, USA


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