Pierre Choumoff
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An engineer by training, Pierre Choumoff started his photographic career in Paris in 1911; he quickly became the photographer of the Russian and Polish intelligentsia in exile. His signature style is a combination of close-up portraits focusing on the subject's eyes and hands, and velvety prints. Especially close to dancers (Alice Nikitina, Isadora Duncan), writers (Marina Tsvetaïeva, Joseph Kessel, Vladimir Maïakovski, Sacha Guitry, Ilia Ehrenbourg, Paul Fort), composers (Fauré, d'Indy, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Milhaud) and artists in general (Séraphin, Soudbinine, Georges Pitoeff, André Lothe, Moïse Kisling), he also produced portraits of politicians (Blum, Gorki, Kerenski) as well as socially conscious scientists (Langevin). Although a member of the white Russian set, he maintained good contacts at the Soviet Embassy where he pictured officials & diplomatic personnel. Pierre Choumoff is also the last portraitist of sculptor Auguste Rodin both in Paris & Meudon, where he photographed the artist and his work. In 1934, he left Paris for good for Poland, where he died in 1936. Roger-Viollet has held Pierre Choumoff's original negatives and many vintage prints since 1945.

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