Nicolo Paganini. 1827, Genoa. William Mortensen, Amer.
Go Back

Nicolo Paganini. 1827, Genoa

c1935. Vintage silver gelatin photograph, titled in image upper right and centre left, signed in pencil in lower margin, 17.9 x 14.6cm. Stains to lower right corner of image and margin.

Born in Utah, Mortensen began his photographic career taking portraits of Hollywood actors and film stills. He worked with Cecil B. DeMille, who greatly admired his photography. In 1931 Mortensen moved to the artist community of Laguna Beach, California, where he opened a studio and the William Mortensen School of Photography. He preferred the pictorialism style of manipulating photographs to produce romanticist painting-like effects. His eccentric approach created compelling imagery, which was seen as “fantastical and grotesque” with “elements reminiscent of Brueghel and Hieronymous Bosch.” His unique style brought him criticism from photographers of the modern realist movement and, in particular, he carried on a prolonged written debate with Ansel Adams, who referred to Mortensen as the “Devil”, and “the anti-Christ.” He was also an artist and author of nine books. In recent times there has been a renewed interest in his photography. Ref: Richard Rivera, NY Journal, 2014; Wiki.

Item #CL191-133

Price (AUD): $2,800.00  other currencies

See all items in Photography