Irving Penn - Photographs London Wednesday, May 7, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Europe

  • Literature

    C. Westerbeck, ed., Irving Penn: A Career in Photography, Boston: Art Institute of Chicago/ Bulfinch, 1997, fig. 1 p. 8
    Vogue, 15 February 1949

  • Catalogue Essay

    The fashion story ‘Flying down to Lima’ published in Vogue, 1949 is composed of a number of vignettes enacted by the young 22 year old Jean-Patchett under the direction of the photographer, Irving Penn. Penn who referred to Patchett as ‘Beautuful Butterfly’ dropped her succinctly into real life abandoning his usual terrain of the isolated studio and shooting exclusively in the open air. Charmingly, she goes about her business attending shoeshine stands, massaging her tired aching feet, sitting pensively in cafes - the environment lends as much credibility to her as she does to her surroundings, there is a feel of comfort and ease a million miles away from the classic haughtiness of the late 1940s. Formal glacial couture gowns have been replaced by wholesome clothes cut entirely from Vogue Patterns. In partnership, Penn and Patchett, present a normality of sorts; everyday clothes in everyday situations.

    From this moment for Penn his destiny and interest widened and possibly his perspective altered deeply. After the shoot, Penn flew on up to Cuzco in the Andes, after a spell of altitude sickness, he roved the streets with a renewed energy, thirst and an eager eye. Captivated by the Quechua Indians who had come to town he rented a studio to take their portraits and thus a metamorphosis took place. Here, began an important passage for Penn; his interest in the social documentation of groups was ignited. This need in Penn did not fade and going forward, its culmination provided our times with some of its most seminal photographic images.

  • 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. 

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Vogue Fashion Photograph (Lima, Peru)

Selenium toned gelatin silver print, printed 1985.
46 x 44.3 cm (18 1/8 x 17 1/2 in.)
Signed, titled, dated, initialled in ink, Condé Nast copyright credit reproduction limitation, credit and edition stamps on the reverse of the mount. One from an edition of 10.

£35,000 - 45,000 

Sold for £40,000

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Sale
+ 44 207 318 4018


London 8 May 2014 4pm