Hat with Rose (Isabella Albonico), New York, 1960


Silver print on cardboard

28.5 x 25 cm

This black and white portrait looks like a hyperrealist drawing. The face and bare bust of a woman dressed in an elaborate hat with a veil falling in dainty, ornate patterns stands out against an immaculate background. The lack of context gives the print a somewhat unreal air.

Irving Penn began his career as fashion photographer at Vogue. Over the years his compositions and framing became increasingly bold. Fascinated by, and experimenting with, the silver-print chemical process, he achieved great technical skill. An example is the rose on the hat, where he managed to obtain contrasts and nuances worthy of an engraving.

Hat, New York, 1960 will be exhibited for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the “Au-delà de la couleur” ("Beyond Colour") show at the Couvent des Jacobins in Rennes in June 2021.