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Sale 2474 Lot 82
ALFRED EISENSTAEDT (1898-1995)
Premier at La Scala, Milan, Italy. Silver print, the image measuring 11 5/8x9 1/4 inches (29.5x23.5 cm.), the sheet slightly larger, with a Pix Publishing copyright and another hand stamp on verso. Circa 1933
Estimate $40,000 - 60,000
A vintage and apparently unique print that dates from the earliest period of Eisenstaedt's career, when he was associated with the PIX Picture Agency, which was founded in 1935.
In 1935 Eisenstaedt emigrated to New York City and the following year was hired by Henry Luce, who founded LIFE Magazine. He was known for his skilled use of the 35-millimeter camera in photojournalism and was also among the earliest devotees of available-light photography. The remarkable details rendered in this composition reveal a photographer with a humanist's eye, a professional's attention to light, and a sophisticated sense of composition.
Eisenstaedt was associated with LIFE for four decades and was active as a photojournalist into his eighties. In 1988, he was honored with ICP's Infinity Master of Photography Award.
In 1944, the photographer's 15th anniversary as a picture journalist was commemorated by LIFE in a multi-page photo essay, in which a full page was devoted to this image. The article noted that "[t]his interior is an example of one of the most difficult, yet perfectly executed, types of small camera work."
Eisenstaedt, Alfred Eisenstaedt: Witness to Our Time (Viking Press), p. 21.
O'Neil, ed., Eisenstaedt: Remembrances (Little Brown/Bulfinch), p. 13.
Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt: A Self-Portrait (Abbeville Press), p. 39.