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Kertész – Lartigue: the photo exhibition in Versailles

Do you like photography? Then you’ll love Kertész – Lartigue’s new exhibition at Versailles. A unique opportunity to discover the works of these two essentials of 20th century photography in the magnificent setting of the Espace Richaud.

Sous la coupole de l'espace Richaud
Under the dome of the Espace Richaud – © Vita Versailles

An exhibition for two masters of 20th century photography

For the first time, the works of Jacques-Henri Lartigue and André Kertész are exhibited together. Even if the two photographers have never met, they have in common a time and a unique way of having shaped the world through their art.

Their styles were different, but they had in common this ability to capture the moment, to document the world around them in an aesthetic and creative way. A visual poetry that was unique to them and that continues to influence photographers all over the world today.

A unique exhibition at the Espace Richaud in Versailles

The visit begins with a room bathed in light, like a nod to the most iconic shots of the two photographers it contains. These are the ones through which they have known notoriety and recognition.

The path continues with a small room, built like an image laboratory. This room is full of various archival documents, notebooks, vintage prints, making us reconnect with the tangible side of photography. On the walls, tiny pictures that take us straight back to the 1920s, reminding us that this art was not understood in the same way almost a century ago.

Under the magnificent dome of the Espace Richaud, we discover gigantic frescoes suspended, floating in the void.

Throughout the rest of the visit, we witness two parallel lives that never meet but whose common thread is the ability of these two photographers to immortalize the moment. A spontaneous moment or a constructed spontaneity? You be the judge…

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Exposition photo de Kertész et Lartigue à espace Richaud de Versailles
© Vita Versailles

André Kertész: the pioneer of photojournalism

André Kertész is a French photographer of Hungarian origin who later settled in France. He was known to be a great photographer reporter, immortalizing the events of daily life in his environment. He worked extensively for the press and his prestigious magazines, which were seduced by his reports and his style.

This style, identifiable by an always inventive composition and the use of shadows and lighting in order to create surprising and unexpected images. He is known to have been one of the first to use the 35 mm format. He is now considered one of the most important photographers of the 20th century because his work has had an enormous influence. It is still today enormously studied and admired.

It was the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art in New York) that brought his work back to light in 1964 during an exhibition and gave him the desire to resume his goal and express himself again through his art.

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Jacques-Henri Lartigue: the greatest amateur of the 20th century

An emblematic photographer of the 20th century, Jacques Henri Lartigue marked his era with his shots that document the world through his lens. He is the photographer of the double temporality, that of the moment of the shot and that of the subsequent reframing.

From his earliest childhood, Lartigue developed a passion for photography. From the age of 6 and throughout his life, he will not let go of his camera, taking thousands of photos. He enjoyed belated recognition because it was in the 1960s that his work was rediscovered and the public took interest in his work.

Car races, walks, picnics, beach holidays, the photographer offers us a window on the world of the French bourgeoisie. Clichés characterized by their lightness, which seem to breathe spontaneity and a sense of humor. His work is intended to reflect a time when life was more carefree.

Cadre photo à l'espace Richaud
A ray of winter sun comes to highlight this photo – © Vita Versailles

Kertész – Lartigue exhibition in Versailles: practical information

The photo exhibition is held at the Espace Richaud in Versailles from 15th February to 14th May, 2023. Visits are from Wednesday to Friday from 12 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Full price at 6 €, reduced price at 5 €, free entry for people under 26.

  • Address: Espace Richaud, 78, boulevard de la Reine, 78000 Versailles
  • Telephon: +33 1 30 97 28 66
  • Email address:

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