Legendary German photographer, Peter Lindbergh died on 4 September aged 74. The announcement was made by his family on his Instagram page. He is survived by his wife Petra, his first wife Astrid, his four sons Benjamin, Jérémy, Simon, Joseph and seven grandchildren.
Known for his poetic and cinematic black-and-white portraits, Lindbergh studied at Berlin's Academy of Fine Arts and came out to assist German photographer Hans Lux for two years before heading to Paris to further his career. Often credited as the photographer who launched the era of supermodels—with his iconic British Vogue cover shoot featuring Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Tatjana Patitz, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington—he buckled the norm of featuring a singular model on the cover of magazines.
With an astute appreciation for natural and unedited beauty, Lindbergh's work was counter-culture to the glossy and perfectly done up looks that were the norm in the 80s. Through his lens, Lindbergh's subjects radiate an allure that goes beyond skin deep; he seeks to reflect their personality, creating pictures that evoke strength and self-assuredness.
“I was rather uninspired with the way women were photographed in the '80s. I was trying to photograph them in a different way, but nobody seemed to care back then… I wanted to move away from the rather formal, quite perfectly styled woman who was very artificial," said Lindbergh.
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"I was more concerned about a more outspoken, adventurous woman in control of her life and not too concerned about her social status or emancipated by masculine protection. My ideal was always the young women I met in art school, very independent and who could speak for themselves. The supermodels represented this change. It explains why they dominated the visual world for many years.”
Lindbergh's photographs gave his subject a platform to share their personality, to allow the world to see them as he does. His body of work is the perfect manifestation of the enduring appeal of style; a distillation of his subject's beauty and substance from within.
While he has left a huge void in the landscape of fashion photography, we celebrate the man's legacy with some of his most iconic photographs.