Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Beauty Inspiration: Renée Perle by Jacques Henri Lartigue

These are a few of my favourite photographs of Renée Perle.
I found it some time ago among other Jacques Henri Lartigue shots.

The first picture was taken in 1931, and yet the first thing that impacted me were the goth punk elements, circa late 70s early 80s. The bangle, the t-shirt, the nail polish, the veil. Was Siouxsie Sioux influenced by Perle’s style?

This photo could have easily been taken decades after it actually was.

“Half past five at the Embassy. I wait for my “parasol” from last night. I need a whiskey. I’m very shy deep down, and ready to be furious if she doesn’t show up. It’s my curiosity that would be most disappointed…Five thirty-five. There she is! Can it really be her? Ravishing, tall, slim, with a small mouth and full lips, and dark porcelain eyes. She casts aside her fur coat in a gust of warm perfume. We’re going to dance. Mexican? Cuban? Her very small head sits on a very long neck. She is tall; her mouth is at the level of my chin. When we dance my mouth is not far from her mouth. Her hair brushes against both.Romanian. My name is Renée P… I was a model at Doeuillet…” Delicious. She takes off her gloves. Long, little girl’s hands. Something in my mind starts dancing at the thought that one day perhaps she would agree to paint the nails of those hands…”
- Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) Diary, Paris, March 7, 1930.

More Info from

Renee Perle
(Unknown-1977) Artist

Born in Romania, date and place unknown; died in the South of France in 1977.

Renee Perle, a Romanian Jewish girl who moved to Paris, is famous as the first muse of the famous French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986), who is considered one of the leading photographers of the 20th century. Renee lived with Lartigue as his girl friend, having met her in 1929 or 1930. Her spectacular beauty inspired some of his best photographs. Renee also painted, and a large number of her quaint and naive self-portraits are seen in some Lartigue photos. They do not show much mastery of artistic technique, but they have a strange fascination, perhaps because they show something approaching a manic-compulsion by Renee to paint her own face on canvas over and over, almost without end. The Foundation has made many efforts to find one of these for its collection, as a specimen, but so far with no success. We have been in touch with Renee's step-daughter, who has an oil portrait of her step-mother, but everything else which had been carefully preserved by Renee was dispersed in 2000 and 2001 in two famous Paris sales by Tajan. Renee also worked as a fashion model.

An interesting article here:

1 comment:

little augury said...

God she was a goddess. I was just looking at a Lartigue book a few days ago- didn't know any of the back story of this model. The pic of her eating the corn on the cob (other than the first) is my fav. freckles, skewed brow, and nail polish, corn- still beautiful. That could be you in the 1st shot- by the way. You should do yourself up and get shot! la