Saturday, 11 June 2011

Le Nu Provencal

Nu provencal - Willy Ronis 1949

This is a copy of a postcard I bought many years ago. I think I got it in Bristol. A few years ago, I was in a photography gallery over a bookshop in Charing Cross Road, London and got talking to the attendant. Somehow we got onto talking about this picture. It's a famous image called Le Nu Provencal (1949) by Willy Ronis. It transpired that the attendant had a print of it in his storeroom and asked me whether I would like to see it. Of course, I did. So we went downstairs, out through the bookshop and into a storeroom behind a door which opened onto the street next to the shop. There leaning against the wall was a framed print (perhaps a 16" x 20") of the above. I took a close look. What was immediately noticeable was that there was a gouge across the middle of the image. The surface of the print wasn't broken but it was a distraction nonetheless even behind the glass. I was then told that this was worth £25,000 - but that I could have it for only £20,000. I chose not to buy it. After all, I already had a copy, albeit as a postcard which I seem to remember cost about 9p.