Description

Herbert List had a special affinity throughout his life with Italy, as well as Greece. The impressions of the Mediterranean that List recorded during his travels are a mosaic of past and present, art and life. An eclectic mixture of people, places and compositions that are unmistakably his own. Surreal stills and sun-drenched beaches mingle with Roman city views and Neapolitan street scenes.

The pictures I took spontaneously - with a bliss-like sensation, as if they had long inhabited my unconscious - were often more powerful than those I had painstakingly composed. I grasped their magic as in passing

Herbert List
© Herbert List | Magnum Photos

Herbert List was a classically educated artist who combined a love of photography with a fascination for surrealism and classicism.

Greece became List’s primary interest during the late 30s. His first visit to the antique temples, sculptures and landscapes, his first solo show opened in Paris in the summer of 1937. Publications in Life, Photographie, Verve and Harper’s Bazaar followed, and List began work on his first book, Licht Ueber Hellas, which wasn’t published until 1953.

He became a contributor to Magnum in 1951 but rarely accepted assignments. During the 50s he began using a 35mm camera and telephoto lens and was influenced by the spontaneity of Henri Cartier-Bresson. In his final decades his interest in photography waned and he turned his focus to collecting Old Master drawings. Herbert List died in Munich in 1975.

© Herbert List | Magnum Photos

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox

Stay in touch
Stay up to date every Thursday with Magnum photographers’ activities, new work, stories published on the Magnum website, and the latest offerings from our shop.
Be the first to know about recent Magnum Shop drops. From new books and limited editions, to special offers, you can find it all on the weekly Magnum Shop newsletter.
Get fortnightly tips and advice articles, find out about the latest workshops, free online events and on-demand courses.
Learn about online and offline exhibitions, photography fairs, gallery events, plus fine print news and activities, on a monthly basis.
Know when our quarterly 7-day square print sale is coming.
Monthly updates on the latest assignments, photographer projects and collaborations with brands.