Backstage at Jacques de Lalaing’s studio
"We try to find a pose and the right lighting. I take a few souvenirs", Jacques de Lalaing, Journal n° 4, 7 April 1899.
Lalaing was also the author of thousands of photos taken in his vast Brussels studio. Here, he staged his subjects facing the camera: celebrities whose portrait he had been commissioned to paint, professional models, children and animals selected to inspire a future composition. Used as a simple work tool, these photos served as preparatory sketches before adjusting the décor, producing a charcoal or plaster study, and finally creating the painting or sculpture.
These prints document the place where artistic creation took place: layouts, partially finished busts, accessories used to help the creative process. Through some surprising motifs (shabby self-portrait, naked bodies, an animal that has been killed), they also reveal hidden impulses at work.