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Peter Lindbergh (born Peter Brodbeck; 23 November 1944)[1] is a German photographer and film director. Lindbergh is known for his cinematic images.

Peter Lindbergh
Peter Lindbergh 2015.jpeg
Lindbergh, New York, 2016
Peter Brodbeck

(1944-11-23) 23 November 1944 (age 74)
ResidenceParis, New York City, and Arles
Spouse(s)Petra Sedlaczek (m. 2002)
ChildrenBenjamin Brodbeck-Lindbergh
Jeremy Brodbeck-Lindbergh
Simon Brodbeck-Lindbergh
Joseph Brodbeck-Lindbergh


Early lifeEdit

Lindbergh, New York, 2016

Lindbergh was born on 23 November 1944 in Lissa (Leszno), Reichsgau Wartheland, German occupied Poland. He spent his childhood in Duisburg.[2]

As a teenager, he worked as window dresser for the Karstadt and Horten department stores in Duisburg. Coming from a part of Germany close to the Dutch border, North Rhine-Westphalia, he spent summer holidays with his family in the Netherlands on the coast near Noordwijk. The vast beaches and the industrial settings of his hometown Duisburg, have influenced his work strongly over the years. In the early 1960s, he moved to Lucerne and months later to Berlin where he enrolled in the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. He hitchhiked to Arles in the footsteps of his idol, Vincent van Gogh. Lindbergh remembers these years: "I preferred actively seeking out van Gogh’s inspirations, my idol, rather than painting the mandatory portraits and landscapes taught in art schools". After several months in Arles, he continued through to Spain and Morocco, a journey that took him two years.[3]

Returning to Germany, he studied Abstract Art at the College of Art in Krefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia). Influenced by Joseph Kosuth and the Conceptual art movement, he was invited in 1969, before graduating, to present his work at the avant-garde Galerie Denise René. These works were exhibited in the Objets ludiques exhibition at the Tinguely Museum in Basel in 2014. After moving to Düsseldorf in 1971, he turned his attention to photography and worked for two years assisting German photographer Hans Lux, before opening his own studio in 1973. Becoming well known in his native country, he joined the Stern magazine family along with photographers Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin and Hans Feurer.[4][5]


Lindbergh introduced a form of new realism by redefining the standards of beauty,[citation needed] influenced by documentary photographers, street photographers and photojournalists like Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Garry Winogrand. He has a humanist approach.[citation needed] He changed the standards of fashion photography in times of excessive retouching,[citation needed] in considering there to be something else that makes a person interesting, beyond their age. In 2014 he said that "This should be the responsibility of photographers today to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection."[6] In 2016, Lindbergh declared that "A fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality. How surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?"[7]

He photographs his subjects in their natural state, with hardly any make-up.[citation needed] The journalist Suzy Menkes wrote that "Refusing to bow to glossy perfection is Peter Lindbergh's trademark – the essence of the images that look into each person's unvarnished soul, however familiar or famous the sitter".[8]

In 1988, Lindbergh gained international acclaim[citation needed] by showing a new generation[vague] of models all dressed in white shirts that he had recently discovered and launched their careers. A year later, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Tatjana Patitz, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington,[9][10] young models then, were photographed together for the first time by him for the January 1990 British Vogue cover. Credited as the one who officially[vague] started the era[11] of supermodels, his cover inspired singer George Michael to cast those models in the video for his song "Freedom '90",[12] and around the same time Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace for his Fall–Winter 1991 fashion show featuring the new supermodels featured two years earlier in Lindbergh's photographs.[13][vague] In a 2008 interview with art historian Charlotte Cotton, he explained that:

Using black-and-white photography was really important to creating the supermodel. Every time I tried to shoot them in colour, because their beauty was close to perfection, it ended up looking like a bad cosmetics advert. With black and white, you can really see who they are. It toned down the commercial interpretation that colour gives. What’s so striking about black and white is how it really helps a sense of reality to come through.[14]

Lindbergh's first book, 10 Women (1996), sold more than 100,000 copies as of 2008.[5]

He twice photographed the Pirelli calendar, in 1996 and 2002. The latter, which used actresses instead of models for the first time, was shot on the back lot of Paramount Studios,[15] and was described by art critic Germaine Greer as "Pirelli's most challenging calendar yet."[16] Lindbergh is the first photographer in the fifty-year history of the Pirelli calendar to be invited to photograph it for a third time (for the 2017 edition).[17]

Lindbergh collaborated on two complete issues of Vogue photographed by him and his assistant, Jethro Gaines of J.Gaines Studio, one celebrating Vogue Germany 30th anniversary in October 2009,[18] and the other for Vogue Spain in December 2010.[19]

Films and musicEdit

Directors' Cuts: The Reunion with Cindy Crawford and Lindbergh

Lindbergh has directed a number of films and documentaries: Models, The Film (1991); Inner Voices (1999), which won the Best Documentary Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2000; Pina Bausch, Der Fensterputzer (2001) and Everywhere at Once (2008), narrated by Jeanne Moreau was presented at the Cannes Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival in 2008.

He photographed the movie poster for Tony Scott's movie The Hunger (1983) featuring David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve, and the album cover for the soundtrack,[20] Pedro Almodóvar's movie poster for Talk To Her (2002) and also Charlotte Rampling's documentary The Look (2011).

Lindbergh has photographed many music record covers, among them Jane Birkin's single "Quoi"[21] (1985); Tina Turner's singles "The Best" (1989), "I Don't Wanna Lose You" (1989), and "Foreign Affair" (1990), albums Foreign Affair (1989) and Wildest Dreams (1996), and directed the videoclip for Turner's single[22] "Missing You"; Sheryl Crow's The Globe Sessions (1998) and "My Favorite Mistake" (1998); Lionel Ritchie's Time (1998) album; Beyoncé's I am... Sasha Fierce (2008) and I Am... World Tour promotional pictures; Mika's No Place In Heaven (2015) and also directed the videoclip for his single "The Last Party".[23]




Lindbergh's work is inspired by early cinema (Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Eisenstein's Potemkin), Dorothea Lange's Depression-era images; also the surroundings of Lindbergh's own 1950s childhood living across the Rhine from the foreboding Krupp steelworks in the industrial Ruhrland city of Duisburg; dance and cabaret, landscapes and outer space.[citation needed]

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • 1996: Raymond Loewy Foundation Award.[35]
  • 2014: Honoured for his longtime contributions to AIDS awareness at the annual amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street.[36]


Major publicationsEdit

  • 10 Women. Schirmer / Mosel, 1996. ISBN 978-3-8238-1416-0. With a foreword by Karl Lagerfeld. Photographs of Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Amber Valletta, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Claudia Schiffer, Kristen McMenamy and Tatjana Patitz.
  • Images de Women. Schirmer / Mosel, 1997. ISBN 978-3-8296-0143-6. With an introduction by Martin Harrison.
  • Portfolio. Assouline, 1999. ISBN 2-84323-108-6. With an interview by Dr. Antonio Ria.
  • Stories. Arena editions USA, 2002. ISBN 1-892041-64-2. With a foreword by Wim Wenders.
  • Untitled 116. Schirmer / Mosel, 2006. ISBN 3-8296-0179-4.
  • On Street. C/O Berlin, 2010. ISBN 978-3-8296-0506-9.
  • The Unknown. Schirmer / Mosel, 2011. ISBN 978-3-8296-0544-1. With an interview by Jérôme Sans.
  • Images of Women 2. Schirmer / Mosel, 2014. ISBN 978-3829606851. With an introduction by Werner Spies, Wim Wenders and Peter Handke,
  • A Different History of Fashion by Lindbergh. Taschen, 2016. ISBN 978-3-8365-5282-0. With an introduction by Thierry-Maxime Loriot.
  • Peter Lindbergh. Shadows on the Wall. Taschen, 2017. ISBN 978-3-8365-6937-8.

Other publicationsEdit

  • Stern Fotografie - Smoking Women - Portfolio N°5. teNeues, 1996. ISBN 978-3570122990.
  • Stern Fotografie - Invasion - Portfolio N°29. teNeues, 2002. ISBN 978-3570193471.
  • I Grandi Fotografi of Corriere Della Sera. 2006. Part of the series with Man Ray, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Henri Cartier-Bresson.
  • Stern Fotografie Portfolio N° 47. teNeues, 2007. ISBN 978-3-570-19733-2.
  • Peter Lindbergh:100 photos pour la liberté de la presse. Reporters Without Borders, 2014. ISBN 978-2362200267. A magazine.


  1. ^ "Peter Lindbergh". Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Biographical overview", Accessed 16 November 2011.
  3. ^ Ian Phillips (13 September 1997). "THE IMAGE MAKER | News | Lifestyle". The Independent. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Peter Lindbergh", in Photo Box: Bringing the Great Photographers into Focus (London: Thames & Hudson, 2009; ISBN 978-0-500-54384-9), p.414.
  5. ^ a b Peter Lindbergh: Images of Women" (Germany: Snoeck, 2008; ISBN 9783936859898), p.95.
  6. ^ Small, Rachel (November 2014). "A Search of Truth". Condé Nast. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  7. ^ Lindbergh, Peter. "Peter Lindbergh". Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  8. ^ Menkes, Vogue (September 2015). "Suzy Menkes Vogue". Condé Nast. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  9. ^ Naomi, Linda, Tatjana, Christy, Cindy by Lindbergh,1990, Los Angeles Times. 1990
  10. ^ "January 1990". Vogue Magazine Archive. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Cindy Sees". Vogue UK. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  12. ^ Rogers, Patrick (August 2015). "Freedom!", Vanity Fair pp 144-147.
  13. ^ Milligan, Lauren (12 February 2015). "Donatella; Your supermodels need you!". Condé Nast. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  14. ^ Cotton, Charlotte (Fall 2008). "Peter Lindbergh, The Image Maker". The Observer London. The Observer. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  15. ^ Pit Lane News, Pirelli Calendar,
  16. ^ Germaine Greer, "Get your kit on", The Guardian, 13 November 2001
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ "Peter Lindbergh ›› Books ›› "Vogue Germany"". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Peter Lindbergh ›› Books ›› "Vogue Spain"". Archived from the original on 21 February 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Jane Birkin - Quoi". Discogs. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Tina Turner - Missing You (HD 16:9)". YouTube. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  23. ^ "MIKA - Last Party". YouTube. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  24. ^ "The Model as Muse | The Metropolitan Museum of Art". 9 August 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Peter Lindbergh . On Street". C/O Berlin. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  26. ^ "Exhibition: Peter Lindbergh's Solo Debut in China". Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Exhibition: Peter Lindbergh Images of Women & The Unknown | Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU)". 10 April 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Vogue like a painting - Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid)". 12 October 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Peter Lindbergh - 10 September - 20 December 2014 - Gagosian Gallery". 20 December 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  30. ^ [2]
  31. ^ "Peter Lindbergh. A Different Vision On Fashion Photography". Archived from the original on 17 August 2016.
  32. ^ "Peter Lindbergh. From Fashion to Reality". Archived from the original on 13 April 2017.
  33. ^ "KUNSTHAL TOURING EXHIBITION PETER LINDBERGH". Archived from the original on 22 January 2018.
  34. ^ film presentation on the Tribeca film festival website Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ "2002 - 1991". Raymond Loewy Foundation. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  36. ^ "amfAR honors Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, Peter Lindbergh at annual New York gala". Retrieved 29 January 2016.

External linksEdit