Extraordinary Vintage Celebrity Portraits Taken By Francesco Scavullo
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Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Liza Minnelli, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Catherine Deneuve, and more… Some say that there was not a single star in the latter half of the 20th century who wasn’t photographed by Francesco Scavullo. For more than six decades, the legendary fashion and celebrity photographer reigned as one of America’s greatest image-makers.
“Francesco Scavullo truly understood light. His images are really beautiful. I think that reflected his own beauty of spirit…as an artist, as a human being…as much as it did that of the subjects he graced with his camera. I miss him.” — Barbra Streisand
Born in Staten Island, Scavullo began to pursue his fascination with images of beauty by picking up his father’s camera and taking snapshots, using his sisters as models. After graduating from high school in 1945, Scavullo began working for a studio that produced fashion catalogs. He soon moved on to Vogue. Scavullo spent three years as Horst P. Horst’s assistant, studying Horst’s techniques. In 1948, he created a cover for Seventeen that won him a contract with the magazine. Scavullo’s soon opened his own studio in Manhattan.
Scavullo also created shots for various movie posters, album covers and Broadway shows. Scavullo’s work has also been used in the covers of Seventeen, Harper’s Bazaar, and Rolling Stone.
“You could feel the love for his subjects. He celebrated beauty and women, and not just glamour, but purity.” — Brooke Shields
“He was such a glamorous person who represented the most glamorous time in New York. Francesco truly appreciated the work that went into creating a glamorous effect. I was very young when I first worked with him, but he treated me with respect and always wanted to collaborate in the image making.” – Christy Turlington
Regine Jaffry and Gunilla Lindblad
“Bruce Jenner was a riot. He ran, he jumped, he stood on his head, and had a lively, fun disposition.” —Francesco Scavullo, interviewed by The New York Times
“Being shot by Francesco Scavullo those many years ago, stands out in my mind clearly as one of the high points of my career. As with great artists and photographers, he knew what he wanted and how to get the results he needed. I think the first thing was a High Times cover and Pierre La Roche and Steven Sprouse were doing makeup and styling. They all made it seem remarkably easy and I felt at ease knowing how professional they all were. Every time I work with someone like Francesco, I make discoveries either about myself or about the craft. I remember saying to myself afterwards, that there wouldn’t be as many exceptional shoots as this, ever.” — Debbie Harry
Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer
Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand