Greta Garbo, 1928
gelatin silver print, mounted on board
stamped photographer's '80 West 40th Street' credit (mount, verso)
image/sheet: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.4 cm.)
‌mount: 17 1/2 x 12 7/8 in. (44.5 x 32.7 cm.)
Private Collection;
Michael Shapiro Gallery, San Francisco, 1996;
Private Collection;
Michael Shapiro Gallery, San Francisco;
acquired from the above by the present owner, 2011.
Vanity Fair, October, 1929.
LIFE Magazine, January 10, 1955, cover.
Carl Sandberg et al., Steichen: The Photographer, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1961, p. 49.
Beaumont Newhall, The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present Day, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1964, p. 186.
Edward Steichen, Edward Steichen: A Life in Photography, Bonanza Books, New York, 1984, pl. 125.
Todd Brandow and William A. Ewing, Edward Steichen: Lives in Photography, Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis, and the Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, 2007, pl. 139, p. 183.
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Lot Essay

'Steichen’s photo (originally published in Vanity Fair in 1929) is, in many ways, the image that countless people have in mind when they think of Garbo. Her gaze is at-once so direct and so unreadable that it’s difficult to know if she’s offering the viewer a challenge, or an invitation. All we know for sure is that here is a rare sort of beauty: beguiling, disquieting, inscrutable.'—Ben Cosgrove, TIME Magazine

This iconic portrait Greta Garbo, taken by Steichen in 1928, appeared in Vanity Fair the following year and later on the cover of Life magazine, in 1955. As a vintage print, it is exceptionally rare.

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