Gisèle Freund: The pioneer of colour portrait photography
Like Nadar before her, whom she greatly admired, Gisèle Freund wanted to create a portrait gallery of her contemporaries. Fascinated by the literary scene in 1930s Paris, and friend to a number of booksellers and publishers, she set the stage for her subjects to pose, creating vivid portraits of contemporary authors, some still largely unknown at the time. From 1938 onwards, armed with her Leica and using the very first Agfa and Kodak colour film then available in France, she began to combine technological advances with a new interpretation of the art of photography and portraiture. She went on to organise screenings of her slides at her friend Adrienne Monnier's bookshop, creating a sensation.