Lisa on Silk I

Martin Kazmaier , Horst – Sixty Years of Photography, Rizzoli, USA 1991, plate 32

About Horst P. Horst

Horst P. Horst (born Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann) was one of the towering figures of 20th century fashion photography. Best known for his work with Vogue—who called him “photography’s alchemist”—Horst rose to prominence in Paris in the interwar years, publishing his first work with the magazine in 1931. In the decades that followed, Horst’s experimentations with radical composition, nudity, double exposures, and other avant-garde techniques would produce some of the most iconic fashion images ever, like Mainbocher Corset and Lisa with Harp (both 1939). As The New York Times once described, “Horst tamed the avant-garde to serve fashion.” Though associated most closely with fashion photography, Horst captured portraits of many of the 20th century’s brightest luminaries, dabbling with influences as far-ranging as Surrealism and Romanticism. “I like taking photographs, because I like life,” he once said. “And I love photographing people best of all, because most of all I love humanity.”