Leendert Blok

Silent BeautiesPhotographs from the 1920s


Pretty as a picture: early color photography from Dutch plant catalogues of the twenties

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ISBN: 9783775740371 Categories: ,

Gilles Clément


Leendert Blok (1895-1986) experimented with color photography and the use of the panoramic format. In the twenties, the Dutch photographer worked in close collaboration with flower producers, providing color prints and autochromes for the display catalogues of the various species they cultivated. Blok captured flowers like objects of desire, using the Autochrome Lumi√®re technique. For Blok, photography relates above all to the gaze. Muted tones and soft bronze hues reveal a timeless world of flora, in which corolla, petals, and buds are sublimated by chiaroscuro. The flowers stand out against a plain dark background, alluding to the famous vanitas of the Dutch Golden Age. Tulips, dahlias, daffodils, irises, hyacinths, and peonies reveal themselves in all their glorious diversity. The photographs of Leendert Blok are reminiscent of botanists’ slides of yore, immersing us in the immanence of plant life, in which each flower becomes sculpture. (German edition ISBN 978-3-7757-4036-4)

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Publisher name Hatje Cantz Verlag
Publication date 3 September 2015
Number of pages 176
Format Hardback
Dimensions N/A
Weight 300 g