Vintage gelatin silver print photograph, head and shoulders portrait in part profile with shadow [by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1934], inscribed and signed in blue ink to lighter upper right-hand area of photograph, image 8.5 x 13.5 cm, original mount, framed and glazed.
THIS ORIGINAL VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH OF IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) WAS TAKEN IN PARIS ON NOVEMBER 16, 1934, BY THE FAMOUS FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER GEORGE HOYNINGEN-HUENE (1900-1968).
This is likely to be the second collaboration between the composer and the photographer, as Igor Stravinsky’s print taken by Hoyningen-Huene first appeared in the 1927 November issue of Vanity Fair. At the time, both Stravinsky and Huene resided in France, where their second collaboration took place.
After the departure from the Russian Empire at the outbreak of WW1, the Stravinsky’s first settled in Switzerland and then in France, where they lived up until 1939. Although during the French era Igor created some of his most famous pieces (notably, Concerto for Two Pianos - 1935) and even managed to find his second love, Vera de Bosset (1889-1982), the composer later described the Parisian period as the most unhappy time in his life: in 1938, Stravinsky lost his daughter Lyudmila, in 1939 - died his wife and mother.
The 1934 photograph (one of a series) was taken shortly after Stravinsky acquired French citizenship and, together with his wife Ekaterina, moved from Voreppe to Paris. In that period, Stravinsky mainly focused on writing music and his autobiography book Chronicle of My Life.
Less than a year and a half following the November encounter with George Hoyningen, Stravinsky and his son Soulima embarked upon their first voyage to South America, during which Igor inscribed this photograph. In the period from April to June 1936, the two visited Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Rio de Janeiro. Stravinsky’s tour in South America was not only arranged but also largely underwritten by his friend Victoria Ocampo, the wealthy Argentine author and publisher of the literary periodical Sur. After giving a series of concerts in Argentina and, while passing through Rio de Janeiro, Stravinsky had stopped for a few days in order to perform, at the Municipal Theater, the presentation of his melodrama Persephone, with Victoria Ocampo declaiming (on June 5 and 12). The event was mostly attended by music critics, artists, journalists and intellectuals. Stravinsky got extremely upset when the small number of spectators applauded him on the night of the show. When embarking for Europe, he declared to journalists: Brazil is still too green for my music. Maybe in fifty years it will understand… The composer signed this photograph a day before his second performance at the Municipal Theater.
Shortly after the photograph was taken, both Stravinsky (in 1939) and Huene (in 1935) permanently moved to the United States, where their careers continued to blossom.