Irving Penn, ‘The Angel’, 1946, Phillips

French wrestler Maurice Tillet, was a world heavyweight champion who in his twenties developed acromegaly. He moved to the United States and continued his wrestling as the ‘The French Angel’ drawing large crowds in the 1940s.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: Signed, titled, dated, numbered 11/52 in pencil, Condé Nast copyright credit reproduction limitation, credit and edition stamps on the reverse of the aluminum flush-mount.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Irving Penn: A Career in Photography, pl. 76
Knopf/Callaway, Irving Penn: Passage, A Work Record, p. 27

Sotheby's, London, 4 May 1995, lot 313

About Irving Penn

Considered one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Irving Penn photographed a host of important writers, visual artists, and cultural figures in his lifetime (including Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, Giorgio de Chirico, John Cage, Truman Capote, and Louise Bourgeois) as well as producing images for Vogue, Chanel, and other major fashion mainstays. Known for his pared-down compositional style, Penn often photographed his subjects in the natural light of the studio using minimal props; his fashion images were marked by their austerity, sophistication, and tonal subtleties. Penn also photographed workers his series “Small Trades” (1950–51), depicting laborers in New York, Paris, and London posed in work clothes and holding the tools of their trade. Caught in both black and white and color, Penn’s iconic images are known for the honesty and humanity he brought to his subjects.

American, 1917-2009, Plainfield, New Jersey, based in New York, New York