Lucien Clergue, 1934-2014

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©Jean-Marie Perier©Jean-Marie Perier

French photographer Lucien Clergue died on November 15, at the age of 80. A photographer and champion of the medium, he founded Les Rencontres d'Arles in 1970, one of the forerunners of the many art fairs today. In 2006, he was the first photographer elected to France's Académie des Beaux-Arts. 

Clergue, who was born in Arles, was only 19 when he approached Pablo Picasso at a bullfight in Arles to show the famous artist his photographs. Picasso was impressed, and a 30-year friendship was born. Clergue is known for his nudes and landscapes and well as photographs of bullfighting and of Picasso and his circle. On the occasion of Clergue’s 80th birthday in July, l’Oeil de la Photographie devoted an entire issue to him, which has been republished in his memory.