This is perhaps Sudek's most important portrait in a very rare pigment print. Sudek's assistant, Jan Strimpl, has written on the verso of the paper mat in pencil: "Original photo by Josef Sudek from my collection." Sudek has also written some notations in pencil on the back of the actual print.
Milena Vildova was a dancer and actress living in Prague who sometimes attended the musical evenings Sudek hosted in his studio to listen to recordings of his favorite classical composers. She became Sudek's lover from the 1940s into at least the early 60s.
See: Farova, Josef Sudek, Poet of Prague, A Photographer's Life, (Aperture, 1990), p.47; Forova, Josef Sudek: The Pigment Prints, 1947-1954, (Cinubia, Los Angeles, 1994) and Farova, Josef Sudek: Sixty Pigment Prints (Salander-O'Reilly Gallery, New York, 1998), no.41, n.p.; Maia-Mari Sutnik (ed.), Josef Sudek: The Legacy of a Deeper Vision, (Hirmer, Munich, 2012), p.209. For flopped and other variants, see: Josef Sudek, Portraits, (Torst 2007), cover image and pl.81; Lubomir Linhart, Josef Sudek (SNKLHU, Prague, 1956), p.150; Alex Novak, For the Love of the Image: A Selection of 110 Photographs, p.87, pl.89.
Provenance: photographer to Jan Strimpl, who was Sudek's assistant. This print, which was made ten years after the image was made, is the earliest print from this series, so it is considered to be a "vintage" print.
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Medium Pigment print
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1942 Print Date 1952
Dimensions 6-5/8 x 4-1/2 in. (168 x 114 mm)
Photo Country Czech Republic
Photographer Country Czech Republic
Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.