[Pamphleteer, Paris]

Object Details


[Pamphleteer, Paris]


Lisette Model (American, born Austria, 1901 - 1983)




1933 - 1938


Gelatin silver print


28.7 x 23.2 cm (11 5/16 x 9 1/8 in.)


© Estate of Lisette Model, courtesy Baudoin Lebon/Keitelman

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Eyes puffy and squinting, nearly closed as if swollen shut, lips curled and slightly open, an unidentified man handing out pamphlets in Paris has been frozen in a split second of uncompromising reality. Lisette Model's unforgiving, almost cruel portrait exposes in him a shabbiness and ugliness that serves as a metaphor for society at its worst.

Model frequently photographed greatly overweight subjects, as if to draw a parallel between the excesses of their lives and bodies. She mounted the print on a torn section of the society column of the newspaper, contrasting this gasping, sweaty man with the chronicles of the glamorous elite to emphasize her interest in the class struggle.

Lisette Model: Daring to See (October 5, 1990 to October 20, 1991)
  • National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), October 5, 1990 to January 6, 1991
  • International Center of Photography (New York), February 7 to March 24, 1991
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco), April 18 to June 9, 1991
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), August 6 to October 20, 1991