Irving Penn (1917-2009).
Irving Penn, who died yesterday at his Manhattan home at 92, was among the 20th-century's most innovative and influential portrait photographers, lauded primarily for elegance and a new minimalism. As a longtime Vogue cover photographer, the New Jersey native met and depicted celebrities, notably in the arts. But Penn also had a fascination with everyday subjects, producing thematic series on Aboriginal tribespeople, working class people in servitude to the affluent, and public servants including firefighters, police and teachers.
His maxim was: "A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it."
An April 1950 cover for fashion bible Vogue.
A late-in-life portrait of French novelist Colette.
"Woman With Roses (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn in Lafaurie Dress), Paris, 1950. Penn married model Fonssagrives, a favourite subject for decades, who came to be regarded as "the first supermodel."
"Ballet Society," New York, 1948. Left to right, Corrado Cagli, Vittorio Rieti, Tanaquil Le Clercq and George Balanchine.
Truman Capote, New York, 1965.
Hell's Angels. Penn's photographs of the bike gang made them seem "like Paris fashion models," Alison Nordstrom, a curator at the George Eastman House photography museum in Rochester, N.Y., told the New York Times.
Christie's curator Colin Westerbeck with a Kate Moss portrait again on sale at Christie's in London. "Photography is a mass medium available to anyone," Westerbeck said. "A few geniuses, like Irving Penn, redeem it."