Irving Penn - Photographs London Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Christie's, New York, Photographs from the Collection of Gert Elfering, 10 April 2008, lot 70

  • Literature

    R. Johnson, 'The Body Myth,' Vogue US, September 1996, pp. 652-653, variant crop
    I. Penn, A Notebook at Random, Boston: Bulfinch Press, 2004, p. 32
    N. Angeletti and Alberto Oliva, In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine, New York: Rizzoli, 2012, pp. 368-369

  • Catalogue Essay

    Irving Penn’s nudes of supermodels in the 1990s, be it of Gisele Bündchen, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Amber Valetta, or as seen in the current lot, Millennial favourite Kate Moss, was the culmination of a lifetime’s dedication to studying the female form. In the current lot, Moss is seen with her back turned to the camera but twisting her torso enough to engage the viewers. Penn’s soft lighting accentuates her tender skin and her rounded hips, imbuing the fashion icon with a sculptural quality that far transcends the era in which the photograph was taken.

  • 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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Property from a Private European Collection


Kate Moss, New York

25 April 1996
Platinum palladium print, flush-mounted.
42.9 x 42.5 cm (16 7/8 x 16 3/4 in.)
Signed, initialled, titled, dated, numbered 15/16 in pencil, Condé Nast copyright credit reproduction limitation stamps on the reverse of the flush-mount.

£25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for £43,750

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7901 7996

Yuka Yamaji
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4098


London Auction 18 May 2017