Jean-Philippe Charbonnier The Black Bag, Roubaix, France
Medium Silver print
Photo Date 1958-59 Print Date 1958-59
Dimensions 15-1/2 x 10 in. (394 x 254 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Photographer's stamp on the verso. See: Kempf, Jean-Philippe Charbonnier, Pour la Liberte de la Press, (Reporters sans Frontieres, Nov. 2005), p.12, the opening page of this issue's focus article and one of Charbonnier's most iconic images.
Jean-Philippe Charbonnier (August 28, 1921 – May 28, 2004) was an important French photographer. His father was a painter, his mother a writer. Jean-Philippe was born in an elegant and well educated family. In 1939, when he was studying German, he received a camera, and he dropped his studies in pursuit of photography. Because of the war, he left his hometown and went to Lyon, Marseille and Toulon. He arrived eventually in Switzerland, where he meet with Jean Manevy who taught him the art of typography and journalism.
In 1948, he became the technical editor-in-chief for Liberation, then he worked for such magazines as France Dimanche and Point de Vue. In 1950, he was a reporter and photo journalist for the magazine Réalités, where he specialized in articles on French daily life. He photographed in China in 1955, in Moscow during the cold war, and in Kuwait, the former French Equatorial Africa and Alaska.
Today his photographs are considered historical documents showing the transformation of society between 1945 and 2004.
Jean-Philippe Charbonnier was married to Agathe Gaillard, and in 1975 they open the first photography gallery in Paris, the Agathe Gaillard Gallery.
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