COLLECTION: 150 Photographs from the Bachelot Collection

COLLECTION: 150 Photographs from the Bachelot Collection
Joel Meyerowitz, Dairy Land Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1976

Over a century of photographic history at Villa Medici

Villa Medici is pleased to present COLLECTION, the exhibition celebrating Florence and Damien Bachelot’s collection of photographs, running from October 7 to February 26.

The exhibition displays an exceptional series of some 150 photographs spanning over a century of representation of the human condition. From Brassaï to Sabine Weiss and from Diane Arbus to Mitch Epstein, the journey allows for an in-depth reading of the history of photography focused on humanity and its relationship to its environment, where the effervescence of the city goes hand in hand with the solitary poetry of the portrait.

The exhibition offers a twofold look: that of collectors Florence and Damien Bachelot through 20 years of acquisitions and that of curator Sam Stourdzé through a selection of prints where the photographer’s eye acts as a seismograph of historical events and intimate narratives.

COLLECTION: 150 Photographs from the Bachelot Collection
Brassai, La bande du Grand Albert, quartier Italie, vers 1931-32

The twofoldness of the exhibition lies also in that it deals with the two great transatlantic traditions: early 20th century “humanist” French photography and American street photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Willy Ronis meet Dave Heath, Helen Levitt and Robert Frank.

An extraordinary series of some 40 vintage prints by Saul Leiter testifies, with the shift to colour, to a turn toward the second half of the century and a reversal of photographic influences. The American counter-culture and the setbacks of the modernist utopia occupy the centre of the image.

COLLECTION: 150 Photographs from the Bachelot Collection
Véronique Ellena, Sans titre, serie “Ceux qui ont la foi”, 2003
COLLECTION: 150 Photographs from the Bachelot Collection
Sabine Weiss, Paris, Enfants, 1955

Finally, the exhibition explores the beginnings of modern reportage with Gilles Caron and documentary portraits from contemporary photographers such as Luc Delahaye, Mohamed Bourouissa, Véronique Ellena, and Laura Henno. Laura Henno’s work, including photographs and film is also especially hosted by the ancient cisterna of Villa Medici.

Between contrasts and correspondences, the Bachelot Collection exhibition at Villa Medici highlights a history of photographic interactions and examines the ways in which the portrait and the body frame the city and cut through urban terrain and everyday spaces in which the human figure becomes a scale.

COLLECTION: 150 Photographs from the Bachelot Collection
Gilles Caron, Manifestation des catholiques, Londoderry, Irlande du Nord, 1969

The texts accompanying the exhibition from a historical and aesthetic perspective are edited by Michel Poivert, photography historian.


Diane Arbus, Édouard Boubat, Mohamed Bourouissa, Marcel Bovis, Brassaï, Gilles Caron, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philippe Chancel, Stéphane Couturier, Bruce Davidson, Luc Delahaye, Robert Doisneau, Gilles Ehrmann, Véronique Ellena, Mitch Epstein, Louis Faurer, Andreas Feiniger, Robert Frank, Paul Fusco, Luigi Ghirri, Mario Giacomelli, Nan Goldin, Paul Graham, Harry Gruyaert, Dave Heath, Laura Henno, René Jacques, Ray K. Metzker, Nadav Kander, Chris Killip, François Kollar, Josef Koudelka, Dorothea Lange, Saul Leiter, Christian Lemaire, Leon Levinstein, Helen Levitt, Vivian Maier, Susan Meiselas, Joel Meyerowitz, Janine Niepce, Willy Ronis, Joy Judith Ross, Arthur S. Siegel, Eugene Smith, Mike Smith, Paul Strand, Sabine Weiss.

COLLECTION: 150 Photographs from the Bachelot Collection
Dave Heath, Margarita Perez, 1963

Accademia di Francia – Villa Medici

Viale della Trinità dei Monti, 1

Opening times: Monday to Sunday (closed on Tuesdays), 10am-7pm (till 8pm on weekends)

Tickets: €10 full price

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