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    Rare works of J.H. Lartigue shown in London.

    Paul Smith curates two shows of J.H. Lartigue’s seldom viewed photographs in two galleries in London this month.

    : J. H. Lartigue is a French photographer and painter who stunned the world when he was ‘discovered’ late in life at almost 70. Today, it is impossible to look back at photography of the 20th century without seeing the impact his candid, spontaneous snapshots of everyday life shaped the artform. J. H. Lartigue… c’est chic ! is curated by Paul Smith and will show at both the Michael Hoppen Gallery (31 May – 28 July) and Paul Smith, Albemarle Street (2 June – 28 July). The highly anticipated exhibition promises a glimpse into the lesser known photographs of the artist’s work taken during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, discovered in the Jacques Henri Lartigue Archives, which are maintained by the French Ministère de la Culture. Lartigue was born into a wealthy family and as a young boy he often photographed his friends, family, and extravagant lifestyle surrounding him, at the height of the Belle Époque in France. Practically unscathed by the wars, the world he captures during the 20’s are notably different than many images of the time period, offering a unique impression into a side of Europe often buried in history. Although, he always considered himself a painter first, after his boyhood and early snapshots were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 1963, his career was catapulted towards fashion photography, extravagant women, and even the official portrait of the President of France in 1974.