Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Alfred Krupp

with 16 comments

“By exaggerating or minimizing his subjects’ surroundings, [Arnold Newman] crafted impressionistic gems… that suggested his sitters’ personalities,” wrote TIME magazine. He did, and the above photo, not notable in itself, is a product of such a mind.

Armanents manufacturer Alfred Krupp who alledgedly used slave labour to make weapons for the Nazis, contacted the famous Newman for a portrait in 1963. Upon finding out that Newman was a Jew, Krupp refused to let him make the photograph. Newman insisted to have Krupp look at his portfolio before making a final decision and after seeing Newman’s portfolio Krupp accepted. So on July 6, 1963, the industrialist and the auteur went into a delict factory in Essen which belonged to Krupp, where Newman decided to make Krupp look as evil as possible under the eerie demonic lighting of the factory.

When Krupp first saw the portrait he was livid. Newman was more tongue-in-cheek:  “As a Jew, it’s my own little moment of revenge.”

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

May 5, 2009 at 12:30 am

Posted in Culture, Politics

Tagged with ,

16 Responses

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  1. Great photo, great story.


    June 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm

  2. I think you’re rather too line to Krupp. He most certainly did use slave labor & and in fact could see them walk to there daily slavery each morning from his office.

    This is indeed an iconic photo, especially in light of the fact that the next generation of Germans were just beginning prosecutions of dozens of Nazis who worked in these types of camps as overseers, a fact of which the photog was almost certainly aware.

    Thanks for this great and thought-provoking post.

    David H

    June 20, 2010 at 9:29 pm

  3. Description states the backdrop is
    ”a derelict factory in Essen”
    the factory viewed is certainly not derelict as with new railway locomotives being built.

    But still obviously a great composure.

    Peter Eaton

    February 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

  4. […] that shows you what happens if you light someone from undearneath. You know, instead of the one of Alfred Krupp that’s in all photo lighting books. I guess the red color helps too, but in the case of the […]

  5. […] he said he would have me declared persona non grata in Germany“), aber Newman’s kleine persönliche Rache […]

    • 70,000 died on his floor Im not sure its evil enough


      July 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm

  6. […] say as much about the photographer as the sitter (and that shots like these have hidden depths: https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/alfred-krupp […]

  7. […] of composition, lighting, lens selection, and background for effect. One must only seek out his portrait of armaments manufacturer Alfried Krupp to see how masterfully he controlled the elements to make a […]

  8. […] Krupp on digitaljournalist</a></li><li><a href=”https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/alfred-krupp/&#8221; target=”_blank”>Arnold Newman on Iconic […]

  9. Thank you for the evil looking photograph. Can’t believe the guy only served a 3-year prison term for all his cruelty. What a shame Krupp reproduced.

    Kathleen Bernhardt

    July 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

  10. […] of composition, lighting, lens selection, and background for effect. One must only seek out his portrait of armaments manufacturer Alfried Krupp to see how masterfully he controlled the elements to make a […]

  11. Please get your facts straight! Krupp didn’t ask Newman to make the photograph, NEWSWEEK magazine asked Newman to make the photograph. In Newman’s own words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WoJOAj9r6w

    Stretch Ledford

    September 13, 2013 at 3:37 am

  12. A fascinating discussion is worth comment.
    I think that you need to write more about this subject, it might not be a
    taboo matter but generally people don’t talk about these topics.
    To the next! Kind regards!!

    search engine

    September 4, 2014 at 11:57 pm

  13. It seems this portrait has been color-“corrected.” In the original version, Krupp had a ghastly green tone, which Newman accomplished by intentionally failing to use a filter to correct for the temperature of the lighting he used. The green tone has been removed in this image, presumably by someone who thought a more realistic skin tone looked better.
    The green-skinned Krupp looked even more ghoulish and evil…. As Newman had intended.

    Ramon de Fuego

    December 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

  14. […] ‘discutabele’ reputatie had in de oorlog en verwerkte dat in zijn lichtopstelling. Zie hier het bijna spookachtige resultaat. Gelukkig had Newman nog geen digitale camera met […]

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