David Seidner photograph of a model wearing Yves Saint Laurent for Vogue Italia, 1985.

PICTURE PERFECT: Some of the most iconic fashion photographs of all time, including Horst P. Horst’s 1991 image of a model in a Mainbocher corset, are to go on display at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris as part of a major “Photographic Tales” exhibition slated to open April 1.

The 400 images span portraiture, architecture, landscapes and advertising, dating from 1840 through to today. There is also no shortage of ravishing photos of Paris, including Robert Doisneau’s distorted views of the Eiffel Tower, circa 1965. Among the other marquee photographers are Eugène Atget, Laure Albin Guillot, Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, Bettina Rheims and David Seidner, who shot a model in an Yves Saint Laurent ensemble for Italian Vogue in 1985.

Horst P. Horst's photo of Madame Bernon wearing a Mainbocher corset, 1991

Horst P. Horst’s photo of Madame Bernon wearing a Mainbocher corset, 1991.  Courtesy of Musée des Arts Décoratifs

The showcase, arranged chronologically and thematically, chronicles how photography has been used for political, commercial, artistic and news purposes, and highlights its relationship with the decorative arts, including fashion and interiors. The popular Paris museum boasts a photography collection of 350,000 images.

Sébastien Quéquet, conservator in charge of photography, is the lead curator of the exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs, which has remained closed since late October to stem the spread of the coronavirus. It and other museums in France are awaiting clearance from the French government to welcome back visitors.

One of Robert Doisneau's "Six Photographs of Paris," circa 1965.

One of Robert Doisneau’s “Six Photographs of Paris,” circa 1965. 

See also:

Paris Museum Probes Luxury’s Shifting Meaning

Who Is the Next Crop of Influential Fashion Photographers?

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