Sergio Larrain (1931-2012, Chilean Photographer)

Sergio Larrain in 1967 Photograph Rene Burri, cats in photos

Sergio Larrain in 1967 Photograph by Rene Burri

Sergio Larrain (1931-2012, Chilean) is considered to be one of the greatest Chilean photographers in history. Known for his street photography, he captured children and cats using shadows and angles never used before in order to dramatize the compositions.

Born into one of Chile’s wealthiest families, he was free to pursue his love of photography. After having studied forestry in the United States and traveling through Europe and the Middle East, at the suggestion of Henri Cartier-Bresson, he joined and became an associate member of Magnum Photos in 1959.  He was given the task of photographing the wanted mafia boss Giuseppe Russo. After months of research and trying to locate Russo, Larrain was able to gain the criminal’s trust and was able to photograph him. Those photographs appeared in Life magazine and won Larrain full membership in Magnum Photos in 1961.

He said that, “A good image is created by a state of grace. Grace expresses itself when it has been freed from conventions, free like a child in his early discovery of the reality. The game is then to organize the rectangle. ”

He is also well known for his Notre Dame Cathedral photographs of a couple which became the basis of Julio Cortazar’s story The Devil’s Drool and Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-Up.

In 1972, he stopped working professionally and retreated from public life and went to live in a mountain village where he pursued meditation, calligraphy and writing, dying at age 80 in 2012.  



Black Cat, Sergio Larrain

Black Cat




Sergio Larrain Valparaiso, Chile, 1963, black cat

Black Cat, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963




Child and Cat, Chile, 1992 Sergio Larrain

Child and Cat, Chile, 1992




Chile 1992, Tuxedo Cat, Sergio Larrain

Chile 1992, Tuxedo Cat




Man with White Cat, Sergio Larrain 1957

Man with White Cat, 1957




Two White Cats, CHILE. Valparaiso, 1992 Sergio Larrain

Two White Cats, CHILE. Valparaiso, 1992



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Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


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