Jacques Henri Lartigue /   Jacques-Henri Lartigue

France 1894 - 1986

Photography, Painting


Jacques Henri Lartigue
Jacques-Henri Lartigue
July 27, 2013
Bojan is an author for Widewalls. He is particularly interested in English linguistics and culture. Bojan is also interested in Photography and Digital Art.

When someone masters a skill at a young age, that person is considered to be a prodigy. Now imagine that skill is photography and the time is the beginning of the 20th century. Jacques Henri Lartigue was not only a master of photography, he also immortalized the end of the France’s belle époque and figured out how to make amazing pictures of objects and people in motion, which allowed him to capture the flying machines and early racing shows. The truly remarkable thing about his work is the fact that even now, in the era of digital photography and powerful cameras, his pictures are interesting to observe, not only because of the subjects in them but also for the artist’s raw talent and innovations he applied to the process.

The artist immortalized the end of the France’s belle époque

Jacques Henri Lartigue - Mr. Folletête (Plitt) et Tupy, Paris, 1912 - Lucienne, Pariset, Paris, 1927, a photographer made a photo and a film about family
Jacques Henri Lartigue – Mr. Folletête (Plitt) et Tupy, Paris, 1912 / Lucienne, Pariset, Paris, 1927

An Amateur

Lartigue didn’t hide the fact that he was an amateur photographically speaking. And that is evident, as he continuously photographed the world around him. He didn’t choose a subject and made an entire series out of it, he just captured his life, what he saw with his own eyes. While being an amateur educationally, he actually did so much more than simple snapping. By carefully measuring the depth of field and distance, he composed the photographs so that they appear more candid than they really were. In doing so, he truly made his photographs rather than taking pictures. Innocent looking and exciting, his artworks portray the world that maybe never existed, but the one we would return to. Who wouldn’t enjoy the day at the French Riviera, or the races in Italy?

He truly made his photographs rather than taking pictures

Jacques Henri Lartigue - Voyage de noces a l'Hotel des Alpes, 1920 - Bibi, Marseille, 1928, home contact and a family photo
Jacques Henri Lartigue – Voyage de noces a l’Hotel des Alpes, 1920 / Bibi, Marseille, 1928

Three Eras

His portfolio could be divided into three very distinctive periods. The majority of his most famous photographs were made during the first period, which lasted, incredibly, from the age of 8 through his adolescent years. His young adulthood was covered in the second period, when he photographed his four wives, the first one – Bibi, being the most important. The final period became after the wide acclaim, which followed his solo exhibition at MoMA in 1963. He was 69 at the moment, and still claiming he was a painter by profession. After the exhibition, he became famous for his early works but continued making new photographs, including the icons such as Twiggy and, at the time, newly elected French President, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

The artist received acclaim after the solo exhibition at MoMA

Jacques Henri Lartigue - Renée, Paris, 1931 - Florette, Paris, 1944
Jacques Henri Lartigue – Renée, Paris, 1931 / Florette, Paris, 1944

Firstly, a Painter

Lartigue’s interest in photography dates all the way when he was just six years old. His father gave him his own camera, before getting him a new one in 1902, when Jacques was 8. He studied painting at the Académie Julian in Paris and had always placed painting before photography. He began working in black and white, but later started taking color pictures, satisfying his inner painter’s needs for the presence of colors. The snapshot camera, which was just invented, was used as a way of making his images more candid. This yet unexploited technique produced the results that were nothing short of amazing. All of this will one day cement his status as a widely recognized photographer.

He used snapshot camera, which was just introduced

Jacques Henri Lartigue - Ascoli Piceno, 1958 - Appia Antica, Rome, 1960
Jacques Henri Lartigue – Ascoli Piceno, 1958 / Appia Antica, Rome, 1960

The Popularity

It is no wonder Lartigue’s photographs are so popular and exhibited throughout the world even today. He undoubtedly possessed an instinct regarding photography and was right to follow it. The recognition came late in his life, but it came. His work is simply magical and innovative in both the techniques used and the subjects captured. He showed us some other time, distant but closer than we imagine, all of seen it through his eyes. “I have never taken a picture for any other reason than that at that moment it made me happy to do so.” Even today, after a century, the people all around the world are able to gaze upon the happy past time and wonder about their own.

Jacques Henri Lartigue lived and worked in Nice.

Featured image: Jacques Henri Lartigue – Self-portrait, 1981 (detail).

All images copyright Ministère de la Culture-France / AAJHL.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Jacques Henri LartigueFoam Fotografiemuseum AmsterdamSolo
2016Jacques Henri Lartigue, Créateur de BonheursClair Galerie, MunichSolo
2016The PhotographG. Gibson Gallery, SeattleGroup
2015Summer Show: LandscapesThe Photographer's Gallery, LondonGroup
2015DwellG. Gibson Gallery, SeattleGroup
2015Amateur de GénieMuseo Ettore Fico, Turin (Italie)Solo
2015La Côte d’AzurTurku Art Museum, Türku (Finlande)Solo
2015Platinum : Master Print from 31 StudioThe Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey (Grande-Bretagne)Group
2015On the moveKunst im VDA, BerlinGroup
2015We could be heroesThe Photographers Gallery, Londres (UK)Group
2015Dressing for the mountainsMusée de MegèveGroup
2014La Belle Epoque by Jacques Henri LartigueDomaine de Trévarez (Finistère)Solo
2014A Vida em MovimentoInstituto Moreira Salles, Sao Paolo (Brazil)Solo
2014Winter in AmsterdamGallery Vassie, AmsterdamSolo
2014BibiPhotobiennale, Moscow House of Photography (Russia)Solo
2014Jacques Henri Lartigue (Photopoche)Catholic University, Louvain (Belgium)Solo
2014Lartigue a cent ansSala San Benito, Valladolid, EspagneSolo
2014Shoji Ueda et LartigueMetropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo (Japan)Solo
2014Défilé AlpinLa Châtaignière, Yvoire (Haute-Savoie, France)Group
2014Exhibit for the opening of a new space in the museum devoted to the French President Valery Giscard d’EstaingChâteau d’Estaing, Estaing (Aveyron)Group
2013BibiThe Photographers Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, LondonSolo
2013BibiRencontres Internationales de la Photographie, ArlesSolo
2013Jacques Henri Lartigue, Vive la vie (coup de coeur de Robert Delpire)Festival Photo La Gacilly (France)Solo
2013Shoji Ueda et LartigueMetropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo (Japan)Solo
2013RivagesMaison de la Photographie, Toulon (France)Solo
2013Jacques Henri Lartigue , A vida em movimentoInstitut Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro (Brésil)Solo
2013Iconic Images of Lartigue, the platinum printsWilliam Mora Galleries, Melbourne, AustraliaSolo
2013Lartigue in wonderJeu de Paume, Château de Tours, Tours (France)Solo
2013Chic, le sportSaut Hermès at the Grand Palais, Paris (France)Solo
2013Flights of fancyMusée français de la carte à jouer, Issy-les-Moulineaux (France)Solo
2013Désir de CollectionEspace Malraux, Chambéry (France)Group
2013Désir de CollectionGalerie Le Réverbère, Lyon (France)Group
2013Surgis de l’ombre (exposition imaginée par Florian Rodari)Galerie Alain Paire, Aix-en-Provence (France)Group
2013Tamara de LempickaPinacothèque de Paris (France)Group
2012The floating world of Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) La Caixa, SpainSolo
2012J.H. Lartigue’s RivieraPhoto festival Photomed (2nd edition), Sanary-sur-Mer (France)Solo
2012Jacques Henri LartigueKolga Tbilisi Photo festival (Georgia)Solo
2012RivagesEspace André Graillot, Le Havre (France)Solo
2012L’Europe des EspritsMusée d’Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg (France)Group
2012L’Europe des EspritsZentrum Paul KLEE, Bern (Switzerland)Group
20121917Centre Pompidou à Metz (France)Group
2012L’art d’aimerPalais Lumière, Evian (France)Group
2012Movement with Martin MunkacsiFundacion Municipal de Cultura, Valadolid, SpainGroup
2011Jacques Henri Lartigue, un monde flottantLa Lonja, Plaza del Pilar, Zaragoza, EspagneSolo
2011Lartigue en hiverGrange bâtelière de l’Abbaye de HautecombeSolo
2011Jacques Henri Lartigue, un monde flottantCaixa Forum Madrid, EspagneSolo
2010La découverte d’une œuvreChâteau des BouillantsSolo
2010Jacques Henri LartigueMusée Angladon, AvignonSolo
2010La Côte d’AzurGraphikmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster, AllemagneSolo
2010Jacques Henri Lartigue, un monde flottantCaixa Forum, Barcelone, EspagneSolo
2010Double je, Jacques Henri Lartigue, peintre et photographeMusée d’art et d’histoire Louis SenlecqSolo
2009Lartigue, effort et voluptéRendez-vous de l’Histoire de Blois, Maison du Loir-et-CherSolo
2009Le Deauville de LartigueSur la plage le long des PlanchesSolo
2009Le Bal des papillonsMaison des Papillons, Saint-TropezSolo
2009Entre ciel et terreFestival International de la photographie de mode “Art et Style”, au Grand Manège, Moscou, RussieSolo
2009Jacques Henri LartigueCour des Boecklin, BischheimSolo
2008Le temps en mémoireMusée de la photographie de Thessalonique, warehouse A’, Port of ThessalonikiSolo
2008Instants d’une vieMusée d’art moderne Richard AnacréonSolo
2008La Belle ÉpoqueGuangdong Museum of Art, Er-sha Island, Guangzhou, ChinaSolo
2008Modèles d’élé{gant}ceMusée de la Crèche, rue des frères Mistarlet, ChaumontSolo
2007La Côte d’AzurEspace culturel du Lavandou, Place Ernest Reyer, Le LavandouSolo
2007Joie de vivreExposition de tirages de collection présentée à la Gallerie Vassie, AmsterdamSolo
2007Rétrospective d’un amateur de génieFoam-Fotografiemuseum, AmsterdamSolo
2007Dany invite son père Jacques Henri LartigueMusée des Papillons, St-TropezSolo
2007La découverte d’une oeuvreMusée National de Cracovie, PolandSolo
2007La Belle époqueNouveau Manège dans la cadre du festival Fashion and style organisée par The Moscow House of photography, MoscowSolo
2007Jacques Henri Lartigue : a boy, a camera, an eraMiami-Dade Public Library system, Miami, FLSolo
2007La découverte d’une oeuvreMusée Pierre-André Benoît, RochebelleSolo
2006Jacques Henri LartigueThéâtre Municipal, Place de la RépubliqueSolo
2006Lartigue le bonheur objectifCollections de St-Cyprien, Place de la républiqueSolo
2006Jacques Henri Lartigue à l’ecole du jeuCentrum Kultury de Zamek, Poznan, PolandSolo
2006Lartigue à l’Ile de BatzFestival de la photo de mer, VannesSolo
2006La découverte d’une œuvreCollégiale St-Pierre le PuellierSolo
2006Bonjour Monsieur LartigueKeihan Department Store, Moriguchi, Osaka, JapanSolo
2006Lartigue a cent ansMaison de la photographie hongroise, Budapest, HungarySolo
2006Lartigue ou l’art du fugitifTenniseum – Fédération française de tennis, Paris, FranceSolo
2006La Côte d’AzurAtelier Grognard, Rueil-MalmaisonSolo
2005Photopoche et Séjour de Jacques Lartigue à L’Ile de Batz en juillet 1920Centre Atlantique de la photographieSolo
2005Jacques Henri Lartigue : a boy, a camera, an eraElvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, WisconsinSolo
2005Jacques Henri Lartigue : a boy, a camera, an eraLouisiana Art and Science Center, Baton rouge, LouisianaSolo
2005Lartigue à l’Ile de BatzIle de Batz, VendéeSolo
2005Bonjour Monsieur LartigueTonami Art Museum, JapanSolo
2005Moi et les autresMaison des Arts d’AntonySolo
2004Jacques Henri LartigueFestival Focales de Coudekerque-BrancheSolo
2004Rétrospective d’un amateur de génieMusée de la Vieille Charité, MarseilleSolo
2004La Côte d’AzurNarodni Muzej, Zadar, CroatieSolo
2004Les envolsNRW Forum Kultur, Düsseldorf, AllemagneSolo
2004La découverte d’une oeuvreFestival Contact, Consulat Général de France et Alliance française de Toronto, Toronto ONT, CanadaSolo
2004Lartigue à l’école du jeuChâteau de BelcastelSolo
2004Bonjour Monsieur LartigueKiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, JapanSolo
2004Jacques Henri Lartigue, photographs 1901-1986The Hayward Gallery, LondonSolo
2004Il faudra inventer d’autres mots quand on voudra raconter le paradisExposition de tirages de collection présentée à la Galerie Blondeau, Genève, SuisseSolo
2004En route Monsieur LartigueMusée de l’Automobiliste, MouginsSolo
2004Lartigue a cent ansMusée des Beaux-Arts de BesançonSolo
2004Jacques Henri Lartigue : a boy, a camera, an eraThe Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, FLSolo
2004La découverte d’une œuvreCentre culturel français, Vilnius, LituanieSolo
2003Moi et les autresCentre Culturel du Mans l’ESPAL, Le MansSolo
2003Past times : An intimate look at J.H. LartigueMaison française (New York University), New York, NYSolo
2003Bonjour Monsieur LartigueCentre Juliobona, Lillebonne (Seine- Maritime)Solo
2003Jacques Henri Lartigue, carnets d’été à Trouville-DeauvilleMusée Villa MontebelloSolo
2003Jacques Henri LartigueCentres Culturels français Kiel, Hambourg, Brême, Hanovre, Rostock, AllemagneSolo
2003Bonjour Monsieur LartigueMusée de la Photographie de Charleroi, Charleroi, BelgiqueSolo
2003Jacques Henri Lartigue, l’album d’une vie, 1894-1986Centre Georges Pompidou, ParisSolo
2003The Age of elegance & the art of styleExposition de tirages au platine présentée à la Michael Hoppen GallerySolo
2003Les envolsWright State University de Dayton, Dayton, OHSolo
2003La Côte d’AzurEspaces Bonnard et Saint-BernardinSolo
2002Lartigue en hiverMusée Alpin de ChamonixSolo
2002La découverte d’une œuvreFestival de la Photographie de Tahiti, Maison de la Culture, PapeeteSolo
2002Jacques Henri LartigueInstitut Français d’Istanbul, Istiklal Caddesi N°8 Taksim, IstanbulSolo
2002Jacques Henri LartigueFoire Internationale d’IzmirSolo
2002Jacques Henri Lartigue et le Pays BasqueFestival Terres d’Images, BiarritzSolo
2002Jacques Henri Lartigue et le Pays BasqueMusée Basque, BayonneSolo
2001Lartigue a cent ansCommanderie Saint-Jean, Corbeil-EssonnesSolo
2001Jacques Henri LartigueL’Imagerie, LannionSolo
2001Jacques Henri Lartigue, la Scelta della FelicitàFondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin, ItalieSolo
2001Jacques Henri LartigueThéaâtre Royal de Namur, Namur, BelgiqueSolo
2000Le Passé ComposéGalerie Municipal de Miraflores, Lima, PérouSolo
2000Le Passé ComposéMuseo del Baro, Assomption, ParaguaySolo
2000Le Passé ComposéCabildo, Montevideo, UruguaySolo
2000Le Passé ComposéMusée national des Beaux-Art, Buenos Aires, ArgentineSolo
2000Le Passé ComposéMusée des Beaux-Arts «Juan B. Castagnino», Rosario, ArgentineSolo
2000Lartigue a cent ansCentre Culturel, mois de la photographie, Cherbourg (Manche)Solo
2000Rétrospective d’un amateur de géniePalazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, ItalieSolo
2000Les EnvolsCentre Culturel André Malraux, Le Bourget (Seine Saint-Denis)Solo
2000Jacques Henri LartigueFestival Regards, Villeneuve la RivièreSolo
2000Jacques Henri LartigueEspace George Brassens, Talant (Côte d’Or)Solo
2000La Côte d’AzurOffice du Tourisme, AntibesSolo
2000La découverte d’une oeuvreFestival Huesca Imagén, Huesca, EspagneSolo