Ingmar Bergman


Silver print

15 11/16 × 15 11/16 in

Irving Penn (1917-2009), one of the undisputed masters of twentieth-century photography, is known for his iconic images of haute couture and still life, but also, and above all, for his magnificent portraits of the artists, writers and celebrities who marked the cultural landscape of their time.

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) is considered as one of the greatest film directors of the twentieth century. His films include Wild Strawberries (1957), Persona (1966), Cries and Whispers (1972), and Fanny and Alexander (1982). Made in Stockholm in 1964, this odd portrait arouses the viewer’s curiosity. With his index fingers drawing his eyes shut, Ingmar Bergman feels very close to the camera. This close-up features this legendary director’s face, but our gaze and his do not meet. The asceticism of this portrait obviously refers to Bergman’s stripped-down aesthetic, all the while expressing the photographer’s own style. This gesture of shutting one’s eyelids may be an attempt at concealment: the eyes, windows onto the soul, are hidden here, so as not to reveal anything of the director’s personality.

This photograph was shown for the first time by Pinault Collection in 2023 during the exhibition “Irving Penn, Artists' Portraits”, Villa Les Roches Brunes, Dinard.