Skip to Content ☰ Open Filter >>


Showing 1 of 1

Lucien Clergue, French, b. 1934
Le Montreur de Singes, Arles, 1953, 1953
Photographic materials
15 7/8 in. x 11 7/8 in. (40.32 cm x 30.16 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Purchase, Scripps Collectors' Circle
Accession Number: 2012.2.19

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), a friend and mentor to Lucien Clergue, declared that “Clergue’s photographs are from God’s own sketchbooks.” In 1953, the year Clergue shot Le Montreuer de Singes, a young Clergue tracked Picasso to the bullfighting ring of Arles, hoping that their shared passion for bullfighting, and the quality of Clergue’s portfolio, would endear him to the artist. It’s unknown if Le Montreuer de Singes was in the portfolio he showed Picasso, but it perfectly encapsulates Clergue’s style. Le Montreuer de Singes means “the monkey trainer.” Though obscured in shadow, the figure in the center of the frame is a monkey, mid-performance. The children in the streets of Arles watch this strange beast. Clergue’s early work concerned itself with subdued depictions of city streets, that at once document the happenings in French urban life while casting them in thick, modernist shadows. Whatever Picasso saw in him that first day, their friendship would last until Picasso’s death.

David Kuhio Ahia, PO ’18
Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern

Signed, lower right hand margin. Back, in pencil, midsection: "77/15".
Back, bottom in black: circle symbol, 1953 by L. Clergue. Printed 2003 by L. Clergue and K. Cooper/ Montreur de singes Stes Maries de la Mer 1953 - Rel 77/15 ex 11/30 PF, illegible signature

Silver gelatin print

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Photography" and [Objects]Country is "France" and [Objects]Display Artist is "Lucien Clergue".