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© Jacques Henri Lartigue © Jacques Henri Lartigue © Jacques Henri Lartigue

Jacques Henri Lartigue

At 69, Jacques Henri Lartigue exhibited for the first time some of the many clichés he made during his life. We are in 1963, at MoMA, in New York. The same year, Life Magazine devotes a portfolio to him. This issue announcing the death of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy goes around the world. To his utter amazement, Lartigue suddenly becomes one of the great names of twentieth-century photography.> Read more

Photography, Jacques learned from his father in 1900. Responding to the enthusiasm of his son, Henri Lartigue offers him his first camera at the age of 8 years in 1902. Therefore, he constantly photographing his life as a child punctuated by car trips, family vacations and especially by the inventions of his older brother, Maurice, nicknamed Zissou.

Both brothers are passionate about cars, aviation and all sports then booming. Jacques records them thanks to his camera. He will continue to attend adult sports events and practice himself some sports reserved for the elite: skiing, skating, tennis, golf ...

However, for this child so anxious to retain the time that passes, photography is insufficient. How, indeed, to say everything and remember everything in an image taken in a few seconds? At the same time, he began writing a newspaper that he would pursue all his life. And, no doubt to engage in a recognized activity, he begins to draw and paint. In 1915, he briefly attended the Julian Academy. The painting becomes and will remain his professional activity. From 1922, he exhibited in several Salons in Paris and in the south of France. Meanwhile, in 1919, Jacques married Madeleine Messager, daughter of the composer André Messager, and had a son Dani, born in 1921. They will divorce in 1931.
Until the beginning of the 30s, he leads a luxurious and worldly life. But the fortune of Lartigue is waning and Jacques is forced to find other sources of income. Refusing to work for fear of losing his freedom, he saw nothing of his painting during the 1930s and 1940s. As early as the 1950s, and contrary to legend, the unknown pretender of all, Lartigue began to exist as a photographer while continuing to paint.

In 1962, with his third wife, Florette, Jacques boarded a freighter bound for Los Angeles. A small detour on the East Coast, they meet Charles Rado, from the Rapho agency who contacts John Szarkowski, then a young curator of the MoMA photographic department. The enthusiasm is general. In 1975, the first retrospective of his work takes place at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. A year earlier, Lartigue had made the official photograph of the President of the Republic, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. In 1979, the act of donation is signed: Lartigue is the first French photographer to donate, during his lifetime, his work to the French state. He charged the Association of Friends of Jacques Henri Lartigue to keep and distribute the fund. In 1980, the exhibition Bonjour Monsieur Lartigue at the Grand Palais responds to Lartigue's desire to see his "museum" open. Until his last days, he continues his work through photography, painting and writing. He died in Nice on September 12, 1986, at the age of 92 years.

It leaves more than 100,000 pictures, 7000 pages of newspaper, 1500 paintings.

At 69, Jacques Henri Lartigue exhibited for the first time some of the many clichés he made during his life. We are in 1963, at MoMA, in New York. The same year, Life Magazine devotes a portfolio to him. This issue announcing the death of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy goes around the world. To his utter amazement, Lartigue suddenly becomes one of the great names of twentieth-century photography.> Read more

Photography, Jacques learned from his father in 1900. Responding to the enthusiasm of his son, Henri Lartigue offers him his first camera at the age of 8 years in 1902. Therefore, he constantly photographing his life as a child punctuated by car trips, family vacations and especially by the inventions of his older brother, Maurice, nicknamed Zissou.

Both brothers are passionate about cars, aviation and all sports then booming. Jacques records them thanks to his camera. He will continue to attend adult sports events and practice himself some sports reserved for the elite: skiing, skating, tennis, golf ...

However, for this child so anxious to retain the time that passes, photography is insufficient. How, indeed, to say everything and remember everything in an image taken in a few seconds? At the same time, he began writing a newspaper that he would pursue all his life. And, no doubt to engage in a recognized activity, he begins to draw and paint. In 1915, he briefly attended the Julian Academy. The painting becomes and will remain his professional activity. From 1922, he exhibited in several Salons in Paris and in the south of France. Meanwhile, in 1919, Jacques married Madeleine Messager, daughter of the composer André Messager, and had a son Dani, born in 1921. They will divorce in 1931.
Until the beginning of the 30s, he leads a luxurious and worldly life. But the fortune of Lartigue is waning and Jacques is forced to find other sources of income. Refusing to work for fear of losing his freedom, he saw nothing of his painting during the 1930s and 1940s. As early as the 1950s, and contrary to legend, the unknown pretender of all, Lartigue began to exist as a photographer while continuing to paint.

In 1962, with his third wife, Florette, Jacques boarded a freighter bound for Los Angeles. A small detour on the East Coast, they meet Charles Rado, from the Rapho agency who contacts John Szarkowski, then a young curator of the MoMA photographic department. The enthusiasm is general. In 1975, the first retrospective of his work takes place at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. A year earlier, Lartigue had made the official photograph of the President of the Republic, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. In 1979, the act of donation is signed: Lartigue is the first French photographer to donate, during his lifetime, his work to the French state. He charged the Association of Friends of Jacques Henri Lartigue to keep and distribute the fund. In 1980, the exhibition Bonjour Monsieur Lartigue at the Grand Palais responds to Lartigue's desire to see his "museum" open. Until his last days, he continues his work through photography, painting and writing. He died in Nice on September 12, 1986, at the age of 92 years.

It leaves more than 100,000 pictures, 7000 pages of newspaper, 1500 paintings.