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Cecil Beaton, ‘Marlene Dietrich 1935,’ est. $100-$200

Iconic fashion photos lead April 12 Gravures & Heliogravures sale

Cecil Beaton, ‘Marlene Dietrich 1935,’ est. $100-$200

Cecil Beaton, ‘Marlene Dietrich 1935,’ est. $100-$200

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, April 12, starting at 4 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will conduct an 81-lot sale of Gravures and Heliogravures. The lineup contains black-and-white or mildly tinted images from some of the greatest names in photography, including William Klein, Horst P. Horst, Helmut Newton, Man Ray, Sebastiao Salgado, Herb Ritts, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Robert Capa, Peter Lindbergh, Mario Giacomelli, Margaret Bourke-White, Diane Arbus, Lewis Carroll, Tina Modotti, Lewis Hine, Eadweard Muybridge, Nadar, Cecil Beaton and Erwin Blumenfeld. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The first highlight from the April 12 lineup is Horst P. Horst’s (aka Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann, German and American, 1906-1999) immortal image The Mainbocher Corset, which was among the last he shot in Paris Vogue‘s studios in August 1939, days before World War II began and prompted him to flee to the United States. Rarely has the image of a woman shown from the back, her face hidden, proven so alluring. Such is its power that almost 60 years after its publication, Madonna recreated it in a scene for the video for Vogue. The photo print in the auction was made in 2006 in Italy, and it is estimated at $200-$300.

Horst P. Horst, ‘The Mainbocher Corset, Paris 1939,’ est. $200-$300
Horst P. Horst, ‘The Mainbocher Corset, Paris 1939,’ est. $200-$300

Also worthy of mention is Hyeres, France, 1932 by Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908-2004), also printed in Italy in 2006 and bearing an identical estimate. It encapsulates the genius of Cartier-Bresson, who found angles that made architectural elements look as if they could move, contrasted those elements with the actual movement of the bicycle, and knew precisely how to time the shutter to capture a crisp foreground and the blurred rider at the upper left.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, ‘Hyeres, France, 1932,’ est. $200-$300
Henri Cartier-Bresson, ‘Hyeres, France, 1932,’ est. $200-$300

Completing the highlights is a Cecil Beaton (British, 1904-1980) photographic portrait of the German-born American actress Marlene Dietrich, estimated at $100-$200. Beaton was notoriously observant of his subjects and their flaws, but for purely professional reasons; he had to see and catalog the flaws in order to defeat them and show the subject at her best. Of Dietrich, he said: “Marlene Dietrich off the screen is not the fluffy-haired, phantom houri of the films, who creeps down corridors, wide-eyed, mouth gaping. Away from the photographers, she is less classically beautiful, more exotic, more extraordinary; equally affected, and yet obviously made of flesh, blood, muscle, bone and sinew … But to describe her in detail is beside the point, for she now feels sufficiently beautiful to convince other people, with her panoply of affected surprise and wonder, of moistened lips, tentative shoulder shrugs, dewy eyes, framed in a setting of mushroom color, with slightly puffy underlids that made her look as if she were about to abandon herself to a sneeze.”

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