Jacques Henri Lartigue, the Photographer of Happiness

Jacques Henri Lartigue, the Photographer of Happiness
#Exhibitions

“Happiness has no history,” wrote Jorge Amado. Yet, with his camera, Jacques Henri Lartigue knew how to tell of it acutely. Impassioned and self-taught, starting at the age of seven and unknown to the world for almost half his life, Lartigue developed his sensibilities in the jolly Paris of the Belle Epoque. With an enchanted and light gaze, he would move along the tricky streets of the 1900s, leaving behind him images of unusual pureness. He wasn’t naive - his mission was to capture the moment, preserve some of the joy that occurred as happenstance, as he once told his friend Ferdinando Scianna. After decades of wear, his images still appear extraordinarily vivacious and compelling - adults and children jumping, seeming to fly, beautiful women striding along, moments of high society during horse and automobile races, portraits snatched of colleagues, such as Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton. The art world couldn’t miss the talent of Lartigue - in 1963, the MoMa consecrated him with a successful personal exhibition and Life published his photos in the sold-edition dedicated to the assassination of President Kennedy. In 1970, Avedon got the volume Diary of a Century published and, four years later, Lartigue became the official photographer of the Presidency of the French Republic. Today, Milan rediscovers him in a large exhibition - 120 images for a leap into a photographic world of happiness with studied compositions of joie de vivre.
Francesca Grego - © 2021 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano