Erwin Blumenfeld


    • Male


    About the artist

    1897: Was born in Berlin
    1969: Died in Rome

    Is regarded as one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century. An experimenter and innovator, he produced an extensive body of work throughout his thirty-five year career including black and white nudes, celebrity portraiture, advertising campaigns and his renowned fashion photography. He took more covers for Vogue than any photographer before or since and his art photography was for a long time overshadowed by his commercial work.

    In the 1940s and 1950s he became famous for his fashion photography, working for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and also for artistic nude photography.

    His more personal work is in black and white; his commercial work in fashion, much for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, is mostly in color. In both media he was a great innovator. In black and white he did all his work personally in the dark room. In color he drew on his extensive background in classical and modern painting. He married Lena Citroen in the Netherlands in 1921 and had three children there: Lisette, Henry and Yorick. He died in Rome on July 4th, 1969.

    For details of his life one should read his picaresque autobiography, which he wrote in German and on which he worked from 1955 till 1969. It has been published in German under the title: Einbildungsroman, Eichborn Verlag, 1998. It also has come out in English under the title: Eye to I, Thames and Hudson, 1999. It was first published in French under the title: Jadis et Daguerre, Robert Laffont, 1975, with a re-edition by Editions de la Martinière, 1996. It also has come out in Dutch: Spiegelbeeld, Uitgeverij de Harmonie, 1980. There were several earlier German editions under the title: Durch tausendjährige Zeit.

    A lesser-known aspect of Blumenfeld's image-making is his films. Captured between 1958 and 1964, these were mainly pilots for beauty commercials, aimed at his key beauty clients Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden and L'Oreal. The full holdings can be seen on

    Erwin Blumenfeld Wiquipedia


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