Remembering Peter Lindbergh

Peter Lindbergh, Peter Lindbergh Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
"A fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, 
to reflect a certain social or human reality. How surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda 
to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?"
Peter Lindbergh
1944 - 2019

I was so saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of photographer Peter Lindbergh last week at the age of 74. A longtime fashion industry favorite, Lindbergh was celebrated for his iconic signature style and monochrome images which were both cinematic and intimate at the same time. He was a storyteller who had a way of capturing the intrinsic spirit of anyone who sat in front of his lens and transporting viewers into a different world. I first learned photography through black and white film and Peter Lindbergh was someone who I studied and admired because I wanted to do fashion photography back then. I lost interest in that after working in the industry but I never lost my admiration for his work.

His unique vision redefined fashion photography and he broke new ground by staying true to his principles. Choosing veracity over artifice and the unrealistic standards of the fashion world, he eschewed retouching and Photoshop while highlighting the natural beauty of his subjects. Beauty to Lindbergh was not about perfection and youth but emotions. He once said "Not using Photoshop is an ethical choice and not an aesthetic one. Photoshop removes humanity: signs of time and experience are simply erased. I am convinced that true beauty can only result from self-acceptance, from the awareness of who we are: it is a matter of identity." I was fortunate enough to get to witness him at work on a few occasions and they were experiences I hold dear. This magical Harper's Bazaar editorial photographed by Peter Lindbergh entitled Sheer Nights featuring model Linda Evangelista and actor Hugh Grant absolutely captivated me the very first time I saw it and it still remains one of my favorite fashion editorials of all time.

Peter Lindbergh, Peter Lindbergh Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
Peter Lindbergh, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
Hugh Grant, Peter Lindbergh Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
Peter Lindbergh, Peter Lindbergh Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
Peter Lindbergh, Peter Lindbergh Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
Peter Lindbergh, Peter Lindbergh Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
Peter Lindbergh, Peter Lindbergh Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
Peter Lindbergh, Peter Lindbergh Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Sheer Nights, Linda Evangelista and Hugh Grant Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar 1992, Hugh Grant and Linda Evangelista
Photos: Peter Lindbergh

12 comments

Ivana Split said...

Peter Lindbergh was such a talented photograph. I love how he really showed personalities in his photography, he portrayed men and women in such a real and honest way, never objectifying them but making them the subject of a story. His photography is honestly touching, there is so magic emotion and magic in it. I like how he said no to make and photoshop and tried to make his photographs approachable and human. I was also saddened to learn of his death. Great loss for the photography world.

Doctor Anne said...

I am not an expert, but I agree with you in that I admire his work and the way he made people look beautiful and themselves in a time when pictures seemed to blur into one another.

little luxury list said...

This is such a gorgeous editorial. I love that it is both ethereal and yet somehow grounded. It is certainly timeless and elegant. His talent will be missed.

Emmylou said...

What a great tribute, Rowena. I was really saddened too when I saw the news on Twitter:( He was such an inspiration. His work really elevated fashion photography to a different level, much like Helmut Newton. RIP.

Valerie said...

Wow, his work was absolutely amazing! I am definitely in awe of this gorgeous editorial! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post!

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David  aarons said...

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Shireen L. Platt said...

This is such a beautifully written tribute, Rowena. I am not very familiar with his work as I am not the savviest on the fashion front, however, I do appreciate and admire true talent.

Pilar said...

What a beautiful tribute to Peter Lindbergh Rowena. He will be missed.

The Exclusive Beauty Diary said...

Such a beautiful tribute Rowena. Peter Lindbergg was amazing photographer and I completely understand his philosophy. These photos are gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Mica said...

Thanks for sharing - it is a beautiful editorial and I can see why it's one of your faces, especially as there was no Photoshop! What a shame the talented photographer has passed away.

Hope that your week is going well :)

Away From Blue

Hena Tayeb said...

Those photographs are stunning.. a great talent lost.

Jackie Harrison said...

Outstanding Tribute to an amazing photographer who had an eye for the art of photography.