Jeanloup Sieff: Cyne Suisse, Vevey (Swiss Swan), 1974
Vintage silver gelatin print
12 x 16 in.
Signed and dated on recto; titled and dated with studio stamp verso
Hinge mounted to window mat.
Jeanloup Sieff, 40 Years of Photography, 1996, p. 159
"Along the years, I called this picture 'A love of Swan', then 'I am Leda' and finally returned to the simplicity this image calls for."--Jeanloup Sieff
Jeanloup Sieff's career is currently undergoing an extraordinary posthumous revival, with a huge fashion retrospective from Prestel that features an essay by fashion impresario Oliver Zahm (of Purple Magazine & Diary fame). a best known his photography of nudes and fashion. Yet he was also successful as a photographer celebrity, glamor and public life, taking iconic portraits of the likes of Yves Saint-Laurent, Jane Birkin, Yves Montand, Rudolf Nureyev, Charlotte Rampling, Catherine Deneuve, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Paul Sartre and many others. Totally underrated as well are his haunting and spacious landscapes, notably of the African Savannah and of Death Valley. As in his figurative work, the ultra wide-angle lenses and soft contours are pure lifted right from New Wave cinema. The grainy monochrome creates a spaciousness that is vast and sublime, but whose solids, light, and shadow invite us into a sensual embrace.
From the the always excellent EYESTORM site:
"Well-known for his love of the frivolous and superficial, Jeanloup Sieff’s legacy places him in the top rank of fashion and art photographers.
A veteran of Harpers Bazaar, Vogue and an associate of the famous Magnum agency, Sieff took up his camera to capture ‘the pleasure of those maddening lights’; whether the chic limelight of Hollywood, the harsh glare of Death Valley skies or the fashion shoot flash, his images are studies in the art of glamour.
Born in Paris to parents of Polish origin, Sieff’s interest in photography began at the age of fourteen when he received a Photax plastic camera for his birthday, and it was during holidays in Poland when photographing girls he met that he got hooked on the medium. In 1953 he attended the Vaugirard School of Photography in Paris, later moving to the Vevey School in Switzerland, and by 1954 he was working as a freelance reporter.
Two years later he began shooting fashion photography, and in 1958 he joined Magnam, which took him to Italy, Greece, Poland and Turkey on assignments. He settled in New York for a number of years in the 1960’s where he worked for various lifestyle magazines such as Esquire and Vogue amongst other major publications, and subsequently became extremely popular in America."
Sieff won a number of prizes in his life, including the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in Paris in 1981 and the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1992. He photographed many celebrities, among them Jane Birkin, and Rudolf Nureyev, with dancers and nudes both recurring themes in his work.
Sieff died on 20th September 2000 at the age of 66 at the Laennec hospital in Paris."
Two small area of abrasion to verso from previous mounting; faint ripple lower left (visible on in raking light).