Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Adolph de Meyer

with 5 comments

The first fashion photographer of note was Baron Adolph de Meyer, who also helped elevate photography to the realms of fine art. His title was suspect,  and so was his marriage to a lesbian aristocrat who happened to be natural daughter of King Edward VII (de Meyer was ‘so queer’ as one contemporary unflatteringly put it). but they were both helpful in acquiring him social connections. De Meyer was the archetype of the social photographer, the inside man who not only knew about haute couture, but knew also of women who could afford it. In fact, he was both a photographer and layout editor for Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar.

Cecil Beaton called him “the Debussy of photography”. Appropriately enough, de Meyer’s most famous works came when he photographed the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and other members of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes when L’après-midi d’un faun opened in Paris in 1912. Diaghilev never allowed the Ballets Russes to be filmed, feeling that the film could not capture the artistry of his dancers. Of many photographers  who covered the Ballets Russes, de Meyer came the closest in covering this artistry.  In his numerous images of Nijinsky, de Meyer captured not only the likeness and adeptness of the Russian danseur noble, but also transported the viewer into Nijinsky’s world of fantasy and grace. Three years after de Meyer’s iconic portrait of him as the ‘Favorite Slave in Scheherazade’ appeared in Vogue (May 15th, 1916), Nijinsky’s career ended due to insanity.

The above photo, showing one member of the Ballets Russes in a mysterious costume is de Meyer’s only known nude. Most of his prints didn’t survive the Second World War, and when an exhibition of his life’s work was being put together in 1940, de Meyer had to call Alfred Steiglitz to find out what Stieglitz had.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

August 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Posted in Culture

Tagged with , ,

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. great picture, so natural


    August 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

  2. I am Nerdbotatron My fiance is a member of these blogs, so I decided it was time for me to join. There seems to be a wealth of information on here, I look forward to assimilating it xD Hmmm, a little but about myself….later

    phone jammer schematic

    September 21, 2010 at 9:38 am

  3. My partner and i really just like your own article along with your current web site all in all!


    February 24, 2011 at 5:01 am

  4. […] Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. […]

  5. I have two still life photographs of his that I was wondering about?

    Maxine murphy

    January 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: