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Jacques Henri Lartigue, A dandy at the beach


This book complements the exhibition “Everyone at the beach! Seaside towns from the 18th century to the present day”. Its author, Bernard Toulier, is the chief curator of the exhibition. He presents, under the eye of the photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue, the great stages of the sea-bathing revolution that started at the end of the 19th century, turning upside down not only the morals, clothing habits, and social representation but also the landscapes, and which maintains its relevance today.

If Jacques Henri Lartigue is the discreet chronicler of this world, it is because the great sequences of his life intersect with those of French seaside history, from the discovery of the marine world to that of mass tourism. The dandy of the 20th century, Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986), is the representative of a privileged lifestyle where the international and French elites discovered the benefits of fresh sea air and sun-worshipping. His illustration of these social changes corresponds to the renewal of the entire French coast and the birth of an urban and rural heritage, from the “Belle époque” to the modernist movement, passing through the Art Déco period, which Lartigue, at the arms of his women, described so intuitively and prudently.

Jacques Henri Lartigue, Un dandy à la plage
Editions La Découverte
To be published on 22 September 2016

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