Fernand Fonssagrives

Fernand Fonssagrives

Fernand Fonssagrives (1910 - 2003) born near Paris, France. One of our greatest fashion photographers and one of the creators of what came to be Beauty Photography in the early 1940s. His most memorable work traces the unique partnership he had with his first wife, legendary model Lisa Fonssagrives (originally a dancer and the love of Fernand's youth, who then went on to marry Irving Penn). Lisa was in fact responsible for Fonssagrives picking up a camera - she gave him a Rollieflex, after his own dance career ended due to a diving injury; "It became," he said, "part of my body." He becoming a noted photographer and her a noted model. They divorced in 1950. Fernand Fonssagrives was at one point the highest paid photographer in New York. Hired by all the major fashion magazines Vogue, Harpers' Bazaar, Town & Contry and many more before he got tired of the creative industry's creative limitations and chose to retrain himself as a sculptor (like his father). He died in 2003 at Little Rock, Arkansas. Fernand Fonssagrives is a bit of a forgotten treasure that has fallen behind Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. They were all three major masters in fashion, portrait and beauty during the 40's fashion magazine boom.

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