Nazaré in the 50's by the most renowned photographers

Nazaré in the 50's by the most renowned photographers

At the base of Luz Editions, there is the love of photography and transmission. As I told you in this article on Artur Pastor, old photographs of Portugal fascinate and move me. This is why Luz's first creations are entirely dedicated to Portugal, its people and human values ​​in general.

This perpetual exploration of old images made me discover how much Portugal and Nazaré had been a point of interest for photographers all over the world. Today, I introduce you to some of these images.

1. Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) is one of the great photographers of the last century. A founding member of the Magnum Agency with David Seymour, Robert Capa and George Rodger, he was known for his compositions (never cropped) and has distinguished himself in reportage photography. The “decisive moment” is often used to define his photos and yet reductive in the face of a work that covers a large part of the last century.

In 1955, Cartier-Bresson visited Portugal, where he took splendid black and white shots of people and scenes of daily life, in many Portuguese cities. Rumor has it that he didn't really like what he saw here, despite having shot his camera to the four corners of Portuguese lands…

Henri Cartier-Bresson Nazaré

2. Edouard Boubat

The human and life are at the heart of his photographic work. As proof, his photos from Portugal, where he was sent in 1956 by the magazine Réalités.
This commission will result in a real encounter with the country and its inhabitants, which also corresponds to a more intimate quest. Édouard Boubat's mother being Portuguese, the photographer finds himself in search of his origins: "Photography is like a quest, a pilgrimage, a hunt".
His first photo taken in Nazaré shows a man holding his child closer to him, who is sleeping peacefully in his arms, he looks at the stormy sea, a moment of serenity, contemplation and transmission. “I go to see the beach, I just take my little Leica of the time and this man was there. Clack. I had arrived half an hour ago, he was waiting for me with his child, and I took my first photo of Portugal, a photo that will remain. »
He immortalized a poor and hard-working but happy Portugal.

 Edouard Boubat Nazaré

3. Jean Dieuzaide

Jean Dieuzaide (1921- 2003) was initiated in the photographic art by his father, shortly before World War II.
He gained notoriety when he photographed General de Gaulle during the liberation of Toulouse. He adopted the pseudonym Yan and started to work mainly in the southwest of France, Spain and Portugal. At that time, he made a series of portraits of Salvador Dali.Two of his works were published on Portugal. In 1956, Arthaud publishes its album “Portugal”, and in 1999, En Vues publishes “Portugal dos anos 50”.

Aesthetically linked to the neo-realist currents of cinema and photography, Dieuzaide literally fell in love with Portugal and particularly with its people. A fisherman and rural people that his objective fixed, revealing images of the harshness of working life, of a people's capacity for resistance.

 Jean Dieuzaide Nazaré

3. Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick became a renowned filmmaker over the course of the 20th century, amassing success after success in the seventh art. However, his appetite for the audiovisual did not immediately turn to cinema, unfolding his potential in photography. In fact, one of the characteristics for which the American became most famous was, precisely, the avant-garde and unique photography of his films.

 At the age of 20, in a hot August of 1948, Kubrick would travel to Portugal for a photo report for Look magazine. The purpose of his trip was to photograph the way in which Portugal had escaped unscathed from the apparatus of the Second World War. However, Kubrick seeks to capture the most profound moments of the daily lives of the communities, namely scenes such as those in Nazaré with its fishermen.

 Stanley Kubrick Nazaré, 1948

5. Sabine Weiss

Sabine Weiss (1924-2021) was a French-Swiss photographer, who photographed a lot in Paris, but also for example in New York, India or Nazaré.
The ultimate representative of the humanist photographic school, in the vein of Robert Doisneau, Marc Riboud, Édouard Boubat... All of her work is rich in more than two hundred thousand negatives, iconic or rarer, some unpublished which bring together not far from six decades of images. 
She was in Nazaré in 1954.

Sabine Weiss, Nazaré 1954

6. Agnès Varda

Agnes Varda's photographs, films and installations address issues regarding reality in documentary, feminism and the social dimension. She has made her mark since her first film in 1954, La Pointe Courte, which was the advertisement for the Nouvelle Vague of French cinema. As she herself said, the first manifestation “of a collective phenomenon, of a movement, which would have existed anyway”.
In 1956, she was in Portugal.

Agnès Varda, Nazaré 1956


Blind Magazine, Municipio de Nazaré, Comunidade Cultura e Arte, Arte, Fascínio da Fotografia

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