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15 February 2014

Studio Lorelle

Lucien Lorelle (1894-1968) was one of the great photographers of the early twentieth century. In his Studio Lorelle, he portrayed all the great French artists of his time.

Brigitte Helm
Brigitte Helm. French postcard by Cine-Europe, no. 339. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Publicity still for L'Argent/The Money (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928).

Brigitte Helm
Brigitte Helm. French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 338. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris. Publicity still for L'Argent/The Money (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928).

Brigitte Helm
Brigitte Helm. French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 337. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris. Publicity still for L'Argent/The Money (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928).

Sought After Portraitist


Lucien Lorelle was born in Paris, France in 1894. He was a volunteer in the French infantry and aviation during World War I and later received the Croix de Guerre and the Légion d’Honneur for his bravery.

In 1920 he started to work as a photographer at the famous portrait Studio G.L. Manuel Frères.

In 1927, Lucien founded with his brother-in-law the Studio Lorelle, which focused entirely on studio portraits. Many young photographers went to work and study photography here, including Czech photographer Jaroslav Rössler, German photographer Erna Wagner-Hehmke and Rose Nadau.

Lorelle soon became a sought after portraitist. To his studio came famous artists like Jean Cocteau and Tamara de Lempicka, and international film stars like Louise Brooks, Jean Murat, Käthe von Nagy, Marie Glory and Brigitte Helm.

In 1935 he sold the Studio Lorelle and founded the Studio Lucien Lorelle. This studio did advertising campaigns for Galeries Lafayette (with Cassandre), Perrier, Philips, Cinzano, Chanel, Shell etc.

Lorelle had already done a postcard campaign with film stars for Campari at Studio Lorelle. Campari was a client which he had taken with him from Studio G.T. Manuel Frères.

Though Lorelle dreamt of becoming a painter, photography monopolized his time, and the paintings he did complete, he systematically destroyed.

Jean Murat
Jean Murat. French postcard. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris.

Dolly Davis
Dolly Davis. French postcard by Editions Cinemagazine, no. 515. Photo: Studio Lorelle.

Pierre Richard Willm
Pierre Richard Willm. French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 609. Photo: Studio Lorelle.

Brigitte Helm
Brigitte Helm. French postcard in the Europe series, no. 66, ca. 1932. Photo: Studio Lorelle.

René Lefevre
René Lefèvre. French postcard by Editions A.N., Paris, no. 770. Photo: Studio Lorelle / Film Pathé-Natan.

Colour


In 1946, Lucien Lorelle was one of the 15 founders of the Groupe des XV, an association which promoted photography as art and drew attention to the preservation of French photographic heritage.

The group (also including Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis and René Jacques) organized from 1946 to 1957 annual exhibitions in various galleries.

Lorelle continued to portray all the famous French artists of his time including Annabella, Martine Carol, Danielle Darrieux, Gérard Philipe, Jean Marais, Michel Simon and Jean Gabin.

In 1949 Lucien Lorelle published La Photographie publicitaire, co-written with Donald Langelaan. He also wrote books like Le Portrait photographique (1950) and Le Livre de la couleur directe (1951). His books were translated in many languages.

In 1952, he founded Central Color, a professional colour photography laboratory, involved with various international projects, including the Tour de France, L’Oréal and Giorgio Armani.

In 1957 he stopped with the Studio Lucien Lorelle and focused on writing. He was the author of many surreal photographic works and literary tributes combining text, drawings and photographs. He also was devoted to teaching photography. His other hobbies included painting, writing and poetry.

In the 1960s Lucien Lorelle handed over the presidency of Central Color to his daughter Françoise Gallois, who deceased in 2003. Lucien Lorelle himself died in 1968.

Pauley ad for Campari
Pauley. French postcard for Campari. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: "Dès que je bois du Campari, Oh! mes amis, quel appetit!" (Ever since I drink Campari, oh my friends, what an appetite!).

Marie Glory, publicity for Campari
Marie Glory. French postcard for Campari. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: "J'aimais un Campari... plusieurs!" (I would like 'Campari'... several!)

André Roanne. publicity for Campari
André Roanne. French postcard for Campari. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: "Qui dit Campari, dit appétit!" (Who says Campari, says appetite!)

Marcelle Chantal, publicity for Campari
Marcelle Chantal. French postcard for Campari. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: "Paris sans Campari, n'est pas Campari."  (Paris without Campari isn't Paris.)

Georges Milton pub Campari
Georges Milton. French postcard for Campari. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: "Au travers d'un Campari, Tout est gai, tout est joli." (With a Campari, all is gay, all is nice).

This is the sixth post in a series on film star photographers. Earlier posts were on the Reutlinger Studio in Paris, Italian star photographer Attilio Badodi, the German photographer Ernst Schneider, Dutch photo artist Godfried de Groot and on Milanese photographers Arturo Varischi and Giovanni Artico.

Sources: LucienLorelle.com, Melissa Demiguel (Bella Online), and Wikipedia (French). See also: dovima_is_devine_II's set of Lorelle's surrealistic photos on Flickr and see an interesting surrealistic impression with two photographs of Brigitte Helm from L'Argent at Bits & Bites.

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