In the 1950s and 60s, Lucien Clergue took photographs of the Gitanes on their annual pilgrimage to Sarah Kalyi, the Gypsies' patron saint. The aim of the trip was the small coastal village of Les Saintes-Maries de la Mer in the Camargue, which was pulsating with music and dance. In his black and white photographs, Clergue manages to capture poignantly the pursuit of life and liberty and a passion in the people's expression.
Born in 1934 in Arles, Lucien Clergue remained true to the South of France and its Mediterranean culture throughout his life – which inspired and influenced his artistic work significantly. Pablo Picasso was one of the first to recognize the young man’s talent and he opened many doors of cosmopolitan avant-garde circles for him.
Clergue's photographic work can be found in many important museums worldwide and it is published in numerous international publications. In November 2015 the Grand Palais in Paris dedicated a comprehensive Retrospective in honour of the first anniversary of his death.