Peter Lindbergh – Master of fashion photography


Peter Lindbergh was one of the most influential and renowned fashion photographers in the world. His iconic black-and-white images shaped the aesthetic and self-image of an entire generation of models, designers and magazines. Lindbergh died in Paris on September 3, 2019, at the age of 74.

Lindbergh was born Peter Brodbeck in 1944 in Lissa, a part of Poland annexed by the German Empire at the time. After the war, his family moved to Rheinhausen on the Lower Rhine, where he trained as a window dresser. He became interested in art and painting and studied at the Werkkunstschule Krefeld with hard-edge pioneer Günther C. Kirchberger. In 1971 he started photography and worked as an assistant for the Düsseldorf photographer Hans Lux. He adopted the artist name Lindbergh, inspired by the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh.

In 1978, Lindbergh moved to Paris for his career. He initially photographed for various issues of Vogue, as well as for other renowned publications such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Allure and Rolling Stone. He worked with the most important models, actors, musicians and artists of his time, creating unforgettable portraits of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss, Madonna, Charlotte Rampling and many others.

Lindbergh is considered one of the founders of the supermodel phenomenon in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His photos showed the models not as glamorous dolls, but as strong, self-confident personalities full of character. He eschewed exaggerated retouching and artificial staging, focusing instead on natural beauty, authenticity, and emotion. His pictures had more of a cinematic character.

Lindbergh was not only a photographer, but also a filmmaker. He made several short films and documentaries, including about his work with models, about actress Jeanne Moreau and about choreographer Pina Bausch. His photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Lindbergh leaves behind an extensive body of work that has had a significant impact on the history of fashion photography. His images are not only aesthetically sophisticated, but also timeless and inspiring.

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