M2 black paint no. 1130045 in original condition with rare black paint 8-element Wetzlar Summicron 2/35 mm no. 2099898, M3 chrome no. 984743 with Summicron 2/50 mm no. 1708377.
René Burri used these cameras for over 30 years, taking many of his iconic photographs with them. This M3 he also used for shooting Che Guevara. Comes together with an early and very rare silver print (24 x 30 cm) of Che Guevara signed by the photographer and a beautiful collage by Burri.
René Burri (b. 1933) took his first photograph of a prominent person in Zurich when he was 13 – the subject was Winston Churchill. Starting in 1950, he studied to become a photographer at the School of Applied Arts in Zurich. Apart from working as a photo journalist, he also made documentary films.
His first photo features were published in Swiss magazines such as Du and Camera, then increasingly by internationally renowned magazines such as Look, Paris Match, Life, Stern and GEO. In 1960 René Burri went public with a sensational reportage and exhibition entitled The Germans. His “neutrality” as a Swiss citizen had enabled him to take photographs both in the GDR and in West Germany, thus portraying both sides of the divided country from a unified, neutral and unprejudiced perspective. In 1962 he published the material in book form, adding further up-to-date images. Thereby, he probably became the only one to succeed in showing a valid image of Germany before and after the construction of the Wall, at least before the Wall came down again.
He is particularly well-known for his images of Ernesto Che Guevara smoking a cigar, taken in 1963. Further personalities he portrayed include Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Tinguely and Le Corbusier. René Burri is considered a “people photographer”, meaning that his images always put the human being centre-stage, always focusing on the human element. Since 1959, Burri is member of Magnum. In 2011 he was awarded the Swiss Press Photo Lifetime Achievement Award. See lot 166 for a vintage print of the famous “Che” image.