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Exhibit at the MEP: Lartigue, Life in Colour

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Cultural life never stops in Paris, even in August, when almost all Parisians pack their suitcase, grab a hat and a camera and head towards the seaside. For those who come to visit the French capital in August, La Maison Européenne de la Photographie prepared a very special treat: photography exhibit "Lartigue, la vie en couleur" ("Lartigue, life in colour") by the famous French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue. Presented as a "genuine discovery for the general public", the show features about a hundred previously unseen colour photographs taken over the course of the XX century.

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By Jacques Henri Lartigue

Mostly known for his black-and-white photographs of automobile races, planes and Parisian fashion models, Lartigue saw himself as a painter until the age of 69, when his photographs were "discovered" and first exhibited in MOMA in 1963. That exhibition, consisting of 43 photographs selected out of some 100,000 negatifs, made Lartigue one of the greatest names of XX century photography virtually overnight. However, even though more than a third of his photographs were taken in colour, they were little known to the public and never exhibited separately.

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By Jacques Henri Lartigue

The current show, La vie en couleur, presents Lartigue and his photographic art in a completely new light. A true master of composition, Lartigue easily transmits the "hidden splendour" of nature into colour prints. Every day, he wakes up at dawn to capture the early morning view from his window that never stops to amaze him. He travels the world and photographs his wife, his long-time muse, in a variety of situations, always with the same striking sensibility to composition and colour. "The paradise is not lost because even the smallest field of herbs or poppies delights me. The paradise is everywhere, but we don't see it", says Lartigue.

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By Jacques Henri Lartigue

In the second part of the exhibit, the viewer finds old colour photographs taken by Lartigue during the period from 1912 to 1927. Small and seemingly unremarkable, these photographs turn into a true surprise when seen as a slideshow: ladies and gentlemen of the early XX century, family, friends and Lartigue himself come alive on the screen with the help of 3D glasses! These photographs were taken by stereo camera that simulates human binocular vision at the very dawn of colour photography and are a true rarity.

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By Jacques Henri Lartigue

For Lartigue, colour means the joy of life, the celebration of seasons and a way to capture the world as he saw it. He was one of those rare people who kept his young spirit and curiosity alive until a very late age, sharing his fascination through his photographs that look remarkably modern even today, some 70 years after they were taken. The whole exhibit is a great pleasure to photographer's eye, so don't miss it.

  • Until:

    Saturday, 22 August 2015

  • Venue Details:

    La Maison Européenne de la Photographie
    5/7 rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris

    Metro Saint Paul (line 1) or Pont Marie (line 7)

    Open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 11 am to 8 pm
    Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and on public holidays

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About the Author

Nadia Gric

Nadia Gric

Nadia is passionate about the visual aspect of life and the personalities she meets along the way. Living in the heart of Paris, Nadia never stops exploring the City of Light through her camera and readily shares her knowledge and love for photography.