1913 - 1954
DEATH OF A LOYALIST MILITIAMAN, CORDOBA FRONT, SEPTEMBER 1936, KNOWN AS "THE FALLING SOLDIER"
tampons 'REPORTAGEBILD' et 'PHOTO ROBERT CAPA' et étiquette 'Alliance Photo, 26 rue de la Pépinière, Paris, Laborde, 32-20' fixée au verso, et annoté en Allemand au crayon et pastel rouge d'une main inconnue
'REPORTAGEBILD' and 'PHOTO ROBERT CAPA' stamps and 'Alliance Photo, 26 rue de la Pépinière, Paris, Laborde, 32-20' label affixed on the reverse and annotated in German in pencil and red crayon in unknown hand.
7 x 9 ⅛ in.; 18 x 23,2 cm
This print is in very good vintage condition. Ferrotyped print, with glossy finish. Each corner soft and with some tiny losses of superficial layer, left corners creased. Across print, a few handling marks, creases, pressure points and other manipulation indentations, inherent to press print. A couple of handwriting pressure marks and fingerprint marks. All of which only visible under raking light. One tiny retouching in the center of print, visible in close inspection. Despite these tiny imperfections, a strong and iconic collectible print.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Private collection, Europe
VU Magazine, 23 September 1936, no. 445, La Guerre Civile en Espagne, p. 1106
LIFE Magazine, 12 July 1937, vol. 3, no. 2. p. 19
Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, Death in the Making: Photographs by Robert Capa and Gerda Taro (New York, 1938), cover
Richard Whelan, This Is War! Robert Capa at Work, back cover and figs. 40, 48, 58, 59, and 77
Cornell Capa, Richard Whelan, Robert Capa. Photographs (New York, 1985), p. 42-43
Aperture, Heart of Spain: Robert Capa's Photographs of the Spanish Civil War, p. 26
Aperture, Robert Capa: Photographs, p. 39
Robert, Images of War, pp. 22-23
Museum Ludwig, Sammlung Gruber, Photographie des 20. Jahrhunderts, p. 202
Robert Capa established his reputation as a war photographer during the Spanish Civil War where he took this image in September 1936. It was first published in France on September 23 in the magazine Vu, and then in 1937 in the American LIFE magazine. The impact of this image raised photojournalism to an unprecedented level through the capacity of personifying the war and it cruelty in an instant image.
The print offered here is considered one of the extremely rare vintage prints made at the time of the photograph. Is has a sticker on the back from the agency "Alliance Photo, 26 rue de la Pépinière. Paris" which was an agency that had a successful but short existence, started in 1934 by Maria Eisner and René Zuber and had to cease in 1939 when Maria Eisner had to flee Paris. The information on the back of the print: The "Photo Robert Capa" stamp, the annotations in German and the size of the print are inherent with early prints from the Spanish War.
The Falling Soldier is considered the most iconic war photograph of all times and was included in LIFE magazine's 100 Most Influential Images of All Time. The photographer himself was proclaimed in 1938 at the age of twenty-five "the greatest war photographer in the world" in the British magazine "Picture Post". Later printed images of this photograph are held in major institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Photographs at Columbia College and also at the International Center of Photography in New York that holds the Robert Capa Archives.