Irving Penn - Photographs London Monday, November 17, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist
    The Famous Photographers School
    The FPS Archives

  • Literature

    Famous Photographers Course, Vol. II, Westport: Famous Photographers School, 1964, p. 10

  • Catalogue Essay

    The images in lots 117 and 118 were produced by Alfred Eisenstaedt and Irving Penn during their time as part of the Famous Photographers School, founded in 1961. The school which counted ten photographic greats of the time (Richard Avedon, Philippe Halsman and Bert Stern among them) as its conveyers of the trade, was created to help its students achieve the standard and quality of photographs that its mentors produced continuously. Each photographer bought his own individual skills to the task whether they were more familiar with commercial or editorial photography or perhaps specifically known for a particular genre such as still-life or portraiture. What is incredibly interesting and fascinating about these works is the unique chance to have an exclusive insight in to the way these bastions of the medium operated; how exactly they viewed through the camera lens and how the sequential frame inevitably amounts to so much. From these surviving, carefully composed lessons prepared for their students, we are gifted an opportunity to understand visually, step by step, how craftsmen like Eisenstaedt and Penn came to deliver such exquisite works that people have enjoyed for decades ever since.

  • 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



Still life

Two gelatin silver prints, printed no later than 1964.
(i) 19.7 x 19.6 cm (7 3/4 x 7 3/4 in.)
(ii) 25.4 x 20 cm (10 x 7 7/8 in.)

Annotated 'Possible ingredients of picture laid out before beginning work', 'Final composition', respectively, in ink on the mounts; credit and Famous Photographers School lesson stamps with annotation in an unidentified hand in pencil on the reverse of each mount.

£5,000 - 7,000 

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


London 18 November 2014