A few weeks ago, I was looking through a website when I came upon a truly amazing photograph. It was titled, "Nureyev's Foot." I was struck how beautifully it was lighted and cropped. That foot seemed to say everything about the control, power and strength required of such a famous ballet dancer as Rudolf Nureyev. I had to know who had taken the photo.
After some digging through the web, I found the photographer. It turned out to be Richard Avedon and I thought, "but, of course."
Avedon (1923-2004) has been described as the premiere photographer of style and beauty for the second half of the 20th century. Yet, a career that started by taking Merchant Marines' photographs for I.D. cards hardly seems like the basis for such an outstanding career. However, with his passion for photography, he evolved a style that immediately identified a picture as an "Avedon." While Avedon was known for his fashion magazine work, his real love was portraiture.
At age 81 while on assignment for The New Yorker, Avedon suffered a stroke and died. He left a legacy of the most iconic representations of famous figures of the 20th century - including Nureyev's foot. Do you recognize any of these photos?