“Vogue like a Painting” at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza



Botticelli, Vermeer, Van Eyck, Degas, Hogarth, and Rossetti are just some of the painters whose works have inspired fashion photography in the pages of Vogue magazine.

Opening June 30 at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, “Vogue like a Painting” will retrace the artistic connection with the magazine presenting about 70 photographs from the archives taken by the who’s who in fashion photography.

Covering the last three decades, the photographs have been selected by curator Debra Smith on the basis of their pictorial qualities with some imitating specific genres. For example, 18th-century British portraiture or referencing well-known art works, such as Erwin Blumenfeld’s take on Vermeer’s Girl with the pearl Earring, Pieter Lindbergh’s shots inspired by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s, and Paul Gauguin’s paintings, and others that took a more literal painterly approach with the bodies of the models painted.

As Smith notes, the guiding thread is that all the works offer a type of slowing down, an “a-temporality in the pose of the models: a kind of mental time lapse in which everything is very, very still.”





On display will be photographs by Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Mario Testino, Tim Walker, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Klein, Nick Knight, and David Sims, to name a few.

Yolanda Sacristán, editor-in-chief of Spanish Vogue, explains “Vogue was the forerunner of fashion photography when, in the 1920s, it began to replace illustrated front covers with photographic images by artists as revolutionary as Edward Steichen, who had been experimenting with fashion photography since 1911. It was he, together with other great Vogue photographers — principally Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, and Irving Penn — who transformed the genre into an exceptional art form, paving the way for modern photography.”

The exhibition will run until October 12, 2015