Published September 15, 1939
Horst P. Horst reveals a strikingly sexy pose in this photograph, which appeared in the September 15, 1939, Vogue. Seen from behind, a model sits on a wooden bench, looking down through her arms. She wears a back-lacing corset by Detolle for Mainbocher. Horst treats her body like a living sculpture, and this piece is as much a figure study as an image of a quotidian bit of lingerie.
(German, 1909-1999). Horst is one of the most celebrated photographers in the history of Vogue magazine. Born Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann in Germany, he apprenticed in Paris under Le Corbusier and got his start at Vogue after meeting photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene and, later, Cecil Beaton. He worked at Vogue's Paris studio and then New York. A Horst photo is known for dramatic lighting and imaginative props and sets. His photographs of calmly elegant women are among the most recognizable fashion photographs in the world- his image of a model seen from behind with her Mainbocher corset unraveling is an icon of modern photography. In the 1940s he began shooting interiors for House & Garden as well as continuing his fashion work. The first exhibition of his work took place in Paris in 1932. Since then it has been featured in a number of exhibitions including large shows at the Sonnabend Gallery, the International Center of Photography, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Staley Wise Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the National Portrait Gallery, London.