All the iconic photographic portraits by the renowned photographer Horst Tappe can now be found on the Lebrecht Author Pictures website at http://www.authorpictures.co.uk and also at our main website address www.lebrecht.co.uk. This archive is a record of the cultural innovators of the mid to late twentieth century civilisation.
From the 1960s onwards, painters, actors, writers, musicians and heads of state succeeded one another in front of his Hasselblad lens. His work has been represented for many years by the Lebrecht Photo Library but we are now privileged to be given unqiue access to all his work (nearly 1500 images online) by the Tappe Foundation.
His strongest images include portraits of world famous painters: André Masson, Marino Marini, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Jean Arp, Oskar Kokoschka, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Otto Dix
International actors Omar Sharif, Terence Stamp , Rod Steiger, Anthony Quinn, Peter O’Toole, Jules Dassin, Charlie Chaplin, Sophia Loren, Oliver Reed, Charles Bronson.
Renowned playwrights Arnold Wesker, J B Priestley, Harold Pinter, Noel Coward, Jean Anouilh.
The widest group of subjects that he photographed are novelists and writers. To bring an author to life is one of the hardest tasks for a photographer because they are people who create a vivid world on paper yet work alone and everything they do is internal . Authors include Rebecca West, Gore Vidal, Jean Vautrin, Abraham Yehoshua, Philip Toynbee, Grete Weil, Ruth Rendell, Colm Toibin, Jorg Steiner, Wole Soyinka, Susan Sontag, Vladimir Nabokov, Georges Simenon, Ian Fleming, orchestra conductors Pierre Boulez, Igor Stravinsky.
Vladimir Nabokov catching butterflies
Vladimir Nabokov on the terrace of the Montreux Palace Hotel
Philosophers such as Arthur Koestler, Alain Finkielkraut, Jean Piaget.
There are many other creators and innovators in the humanities including psychiatrists Walter Vogt, Leopold Szondi, R D Laing, choreographer Maurice Bejart, Katia Mann wife of the writer Thomas Mann, geologist Haroun Tazieff to name just a few. Search for more under -Tappe – on our website addresses at www.authorpictures.co.uk or www.lebrecht.co.uk.
R D Laing
Born in 1938 in Westphalia, Germany, Horst Tappe attended the School of Experimental Photography near Frankfurt after an apprenticeship at the traditional photographic workshop of Martha Hoepffner. He then continued his training at the Vevey School of Photography in Switzerland, obtaining a maîtrise fédérale, a professional specialist qualification. His meeting with Gertrude Fehr played a decisive role in defining his photographic style. Horst Tappe exhibited in many cities in Europe and the United States. Many museums worldwide display his work. From 1965 he was based in Montreux, Switzerland. Horst Tappe always sought to find the true person who inhabited the face he was photographing, his aim was to create the intimate reality of his subject. Behind each of his portraits is the story of a meeting or a friendship.
We finally met face to face at the railway station at Montreux over 11 years ago. As we sipped drinks on the terrace of the Montreux Palace Hotel Horst Tappe told me how he first met Vladimir Nabokov when he used to stay at that magnificent art decco hotel while writing his later novels. Horst not only photographed the world-renowned author of Lolita at work but also captured him on the Swiss mountain slopes catching butterflies. Many of his photographs have similar fascinating stories behind them.
Robert Schumann, German composer, 200th birth anniversary on 8th June.
Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, French inventor of the montgolfière hot air balloon, birth anniversary on 26th June.
Lebrecht Photo Library
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