Lartique in his bath with his hydro-glider model ( shutter released by Marie Lartigue ) 40 rue Cortambert, 1904 Lartigue: The Boy and the Belle Époque by Louise Baring Published by Thames & Hudson, 9 April 2020, £28.00 hardback These images are for one time us e in association with a book review or agreed feature. Images must not be cropped or overwritten, manipulated in any way, or used on the jacket of a publication, without the publisher’s permission in writing. Full credits must be given as below. Thank you. Press credit for ALL PHOTOGRAPHS : Photographs by Jacques Henri Lartigue © 2020 Ministère de la Culture – France/AAJ HL
‘Lartigue in his bath’ (1904) © Jacques Henri Lartigue/Ministère de la Culture France

The legendary photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue did not lack for subjects when gifted his first camera in 1902. Neighbours described his family as a “curious lot”, perhaps not unfairly, judging by the carefree, haute-bourgeois lifestyle captured in a new book of the young Lartigue’s images. Family members are forever in motion, leaping across furniture or grinning at the helm of a precariously homemade fleet of sleds, go-karts and gliders — a foreshadowing of Lartigue’s later role, chronicling the cars, fashions and frenetic progress of the 20th century.

Louise Baring’s collection concludes in 1914, when war brought the whimsical spirit of the belle époque to an abrupt end. Fortunately, as a subsequent photographic career defined by stylish insouciance goes to show, it is not an upbringing that Lartigue ever forgot.

‘Lartigue: The Boy and the Belle Époque’ is published by Thames & Hudson

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