Lucien Clergue was born in Arles in 1934, where he received a musical education before devoting himself to photography. Since the publication of his first album ‘Mémorable Body’ in 1958, supported by Picasso and Cocteau, nearly 80 albums have been published and several hundred exhibitions around the world have promoted his photographs.
His favourite themes were nudes, bullfighting, landscape photography (especially Camargue and American deserts) and everything that has to do with life. His work delves into the secrets of life and death through his scenes of cemeteries. He was also preoccupied with portraiture and Picasso and Cocteau posed for him. His work is characterised by a universality linked to the timeless exploration of nature, the female body, and places and gestures where memory is shaped.
His photographs have been displayed in various French museums and the ‘Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie’ in Arles. He taught in various French universities. He was also named a Knight of the Légion d’honneur in 2003 and became a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institute of France in 2006. During his lifetime, he received numerous awards and his photographs enrich the collections of prestigious collections. He died in 2014, aged 80.