Irving Penn - Photographs New York Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Art Institute of Chicago, Irving Penn: A Career in Photography, pl. 35 and fig. 4
    Gee, Photography of the Fifties: An American Perspective,
    p. 152
    Greenough, Irving Penn Platinum Prints, frontispiece and pl. 20
    Knopf/Callaway, Irving Penn: Passage, a Work Record, p. 85
    Szarkowski, Irving Penn, pl. 54
    Szarkowski, Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, p. 158
    American Vogue, 15 September 1950
    French Vogue, September 1950

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1950, Irving Penn, a staff photographer at Vogue, was commissioned to photograph the Paris haute-couture collections. By then, Penn had established his reputation as a trailblazing fashion photographer, celebrated for his minimalist settings and his emphasis on volume, texture, and silhouette. Of the three models whom Penn photographed for the Paris collections that year-Régine, Jean Patchett and Lisa Fonssagrives-the latter was photographed most extensively. Indeed, that was the year that Fonssagrives, a successful model who had been gracing the cover of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar since 1940, married Penn. In Woman with Roses on Her Arm, Fonssagrives is depicted standing sideways to accentuate the dramatically plunging back, the sumptuously ruched front, and the understated columnar form of her dress. Her black gloved arms flanking her torso assume the position of petals. And shot from a lower vantage point by Penn, she appears statuesque and regal in air. Overall, she is the embodiment of beauty and femininity. The following year, shortly after her fortieth birthday, Fonssagrives retired from the world of modeling, leaving behind a magnificent body of work, most eloquently captured by her beloved.

  • Artist Biography

    Irving Penn

    American • 1917 - 2009

    Arresting portraits, exquisite flowers, luscious food and glamorous models populate Irving Penn's meticulously rendered, masterful prints. Penn employed the elegant simplicity of a gray or white backdrop to pose his subjects, be it a model in the latest Parisian fashion, a famous subject or veiled women in Morocco.

    Irving Penn's distinct aesthetic transformed twentieth-century elegance and style, with each brilliant composition beautifully articulating his subjects. Working across several photographic mediums, Penn was a master printmaker. Regardless of the subject, each and every piece is rendered with supreme beauty. 

    View More Works


Woman with Roses on Her Arm, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn

Platinum palladium print, printed 1977.
21 5/8 x 14 5/8 in. (54.9 x 37.1 cm)
Signed, titled, numbered 37/40, edition and Condé Nast copyright credit reproduction limitation stamps on the reverse of the flush-mount.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $230,500

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1245


4 April 2012
New York