Charlie Chaplin, 1925 gelatin silver print, mounted to board
Charlie Chaplin, 1925 gelatin silver print, mounted to board
Charlie Chaplin, 1925 gelatin silver print, mounted to board
2 More
Charlie Chaplin, 1925 gelatin silver print, mounted to board

Edward Steichen

Details
Charlie Chaplin, 1925 gelatin silver print, mounted to board
Edward Steichen
EDWARD STEICHEN (1879–1973)

Charlie Chaplin, 1925
gelatin silver print, mounted to board
signed and inscribed in black ink by Charlie Chaplin 'To Edgar From Charlie' (recto), stamped photographer’s credit (verso)
9½ x 7 in. (240 x 178 mm); framed 18¼ x 15½ in. (460 x 393 mm)

From 1923 until 1937, Edward Steichen served as chief photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair, ushering the magazines into modernity with his boldly posed and expressively lit celebrity portraiture. ‘Of course I had favourites’, wrote Steichen, ‘Chaplin was one. The first time he came to the studio, his secretary, who brought him there said, “Mr Chaplin has another appointment, so he can only give you twenty minutes.” When we got Chaplin in the studio and started to arrange the lights, he froze. I dismissed my assistants and tried to work alone with him, but nothing happened. Finally Chaplin said, “You know, I can’t just sit still. I have to be doing something. Then I’m all right.” So I stopped working and got out a portfolio of my photographs … Then I started to talk to him about The Gold Rush, the film he had just released, he loosened up and became enthusiastic in turn … in a few minutes I had half a dozen portraits of Chaplin relaxed and himself, the image of a dancing faun.’ Shot for Vanity Fair at Steichen’s New York studio in 1925, the present image was published three years later in the March 1928 issue, as promotion for Chaplin’s 1928 film The Circus. The recipient of the inscription is likely to have been one of two Edgars with whom Chaplin was close: the first is Edgar Kennedy, an old friend and colleague of Chaplin's who had been part of Sennett's company and one of the original Keystone Cops; the other possibility is the Spanish director and screenwriter Edgar Neville, who had become one of Chaplin's close acquaintances in Hollywood in the 1930s. Steichen, A Life in Photography, n.p. Provenance: Bonhams, Oxford, 23 May 2006, lot 29.

Brought to you by

General Sale Enquiries
General Sale Enquiries Charlie Watts | Gentleman · Collector · Rolling Stone

More from Charlie Watts: Literature and Jazz Part I

View All
View All