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In flight, tennis according to Lartigue


An exhibition at the Voleur d’Images gallery in Paris revisits one of the most famous work of the French photographer.

Jacques Henri Lartigue had the chance to be free and to live as he pleased; he knew how to turn his life into a masterpiece. After a childhood bathed in the euphoria of the Belle Epoque, the young Lartigue grew up in the shadow of the Roaring Twenties. Free of any material constraints, he devoted his youth to the joy of life, to beauty, even to a certain frivolity. He was a dandy.

Happy by nature, Lartigue was excited about speed, about sport, about all sports: cycling, motor sport, skiing, skating, gliders etc. But, above all, it was tennis that fascinated him: an excellent player himself, he marvelled at all the sensations the sport brought him, “Playing tennis in the sun. The smell of the changing rooms. The big green trees. The blackbird singing. The sun over my head”, he said.

The speed, the flight of the ball, the game’s suspense fascinated him. “The ball comes, the racket waits for it with extra tight strings. Its dry, elastic, hollow sound sends a shock of exquisite pleasure through your body. Playing a fast sport, it’s living in a fantasy land of atoms per second”.



En vol, le tennis selon Lartigue
Galerie le Voleur d’Images
9, rue de Saint-Simon
75007 Paris

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