A Sporting Life

For the fourth year in a row, Hermès has chosen a theme to inspire its collection and events. This year”s theme is “A Sporting Life.”

This volume was co-published by the Donation Jacques Henri Lartigue, Actes Sud Publisher and Hermès. Photographs selected from Lartigue’s prolific body of work capture both the joyous exuberance of amateur sports–racing, skiing, tennis, gymnastics, hang gliding–and the particular character of its popularity in the first half of the twentieth century. Himself a keen sportsman, Lartigue was an absolute master at conveying the dynamism of the human body at play.

The book, a tribute to Lartigue’s singular aesthetic approach, also examines the development of sports throughout history, reflecting on the difference between sports today and from the glamorous era seen in Lartigue”s elegant images, in which the social and aesthetic cult of the body is already in evidence.

Sports historian Thierry Terret, Lyon 1 University professor and Director of the Sports Innovation and Research Center, has separated the photographs from Lartigue’s famous albums into 5 themes regarding fascinating issues on the development of individual sports and on its social aspect. The preface, by novelist Anne-Marie Garat, provides a personal perspective on Lartigue”s sports photography, setting the tone for this beautiful book with her subtle analysis of Lartigue’s photographs.