Fashion Photographer Peter Lindbergh Dies

Fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh has died at the age of 74.

According to his official Instagram account, the photographer, a father of four, died on Tuesday. It states: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Peter Lindbergh on September 3rd 2019, at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife Petra, his first wife Astrid, his four sons Benjamin, Jérémy, Simon, Joseph and seven grandchildren. He leaves a big void.” One of Lindbergh’s shots accompanied the announcement superseded by a touchingly blank post.

The German photographer whose trademark was the dramatic black and white portrait was renowned for his work with ’90s supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista. 

Some of his most recent editorial work included shooting climate activist Greta Thunberg, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, actor Salma Hayek Pinault and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the September 2019 issue of British Vogue guest-edited by the Duchess of Sussex.

Considered a pioneer in photography, he introduced a form of new realism by redefining the standards of beauty with timeless, stripped back images, states his website. His humanist approach and idealisation of women set him apart from the other photographers and in times of excessive retouching he drastically changed the standards of fashion photography believing that there is something else that makes a person interesting, beyond their age. He explained: “This should be the responsibility of photographers today to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.” 

Preferring to enhance the natural beauty of his subjects he preferred a a face with hardly any makeup on, stating it made it more authentic. “If you take out the fashion and the artifice, you can then see the real person.”

In the May 2016 issue of the prestigious magazine Art Forum, Lindbergh declared in his interview with journalist Isabel Flower that: “A fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality. How surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?”

Stars including Charlize Theron, David Beckham and Nicole Kidman have paid tribute to the photographer with Edward Enninful, editor of UK Vogue saying: “His ability to see real beauty in people, and the world, was ceaseless, and will live on through the images he created. He will be missed by everyone who knew him, worked with him or loved his pictures.”

Kate Moss @therealpeterlindbergh
Duchess of Sussex @therealpeterlindbergh
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper @therealpeterlindbergh
Penelope Cruz @therealpeterlindbergh
Helen Mirren @therealpeterlindbergh
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