Jacques-Henri Lartigue

French (Courbevoie, France, 1894 - 1986, Nice, France)

Renée Perle, Portrait with Kiss Curls

ca. 1931
photograph | gelatin silver print
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  • Renée Perle, Portrait with Kiss Curls

    Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Renée Perle, Portrait with Kiss Curls, ca. 1931; gelatin silver print, 9 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in. (24.13 cm x 16.51 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein; Photographie J H Lartigue © Ministère de la Culture - France / AAJHL

Though best known for the photographs he took as a child, Lartigue continued to photograph, as well as paint, as an adult.

In 1930 he met the sultry René Perle, a Romanian model who became his lover and muse for several years. His many portraits of Perle document his ardent obsession with her physical appearance. In his diary he wrote: "The small mouth with the full painted lips! The ebony black eyes. From under her fur coat comes a warmth of perfume. The head looks petite on her long neck."

Perle is depicted here with a trendy "kiss curl," a lock of hair pressed flat on the cheek. In other instances Lartigue photographed Perle in furs or other fashionable clothing, sometimes showing off painted nails and arms full of bangle bracelets. She is always perfectly appointed, as if posing for a fashion magazine.

9 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in. (24.13 cm x 16.51 cm)
Acquired 2003
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein
Photographie J H Lartigue © Ministère de la Culture - France / AAJHL


portraits, women, heads, hairstyles

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