Andrey Tarkovsky's Polaroid photographs to auction at Bonhams
A collection of Polaroid photographs by the legendary filmmaker Andrey Tarkovsky will be offered in a special Bonhams auction later this year.
Andrey Tarkovsky (1932-1986) is regarded as one of the most influential directors in the history of cinema, and was described by the great Ingmar Bergman as "the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream."
The collection includes almost 300 photographs, which will be offered across 29 separate lots, with estimates ranging from £20,000 - $37,000 per lot.
The majority were taken as Tartovsky filmed Nostalgia, his meditative 1983 film shot in Italy and Russia, and feature images of his circle of friends, his dog, and the countryside which served as a rich backdrop to the film's narrative.
"These pictures are a surprising glimpse of Tarkovsky, who throughout his life was obsessed with the passing of time," said Daria Chernenko, Head of Bonhams' Russian Art department.
"The dream-like compositions are reflective of his filmmaking. They've never been on the market before and now his family are selling the collection in its entirety. There has already been a significant amount of interest in these one-off works, both from museums and film institutes."
He first discovered the Polaroid camera in the late 1970, and fell in love with the medium almost immediately.
"There was something about the way that the camera gave an instant image of the view being photographed that he found propitious, and useful, for his task of location-hunting," writes film historian Mark Le Fanu, in the autumn issue of Bonhams Magazine.
"That, and the fact that he liked their saturated but at the same time diffused (and ever so slightly 'retro') colour reproduction, which gave each of the stills an air of mystery."
"At my wedding in Moscow in 1977, Tarkovsky had a Polaroid camera in his hand and he moved about happily with this instrument which he discovered only recently," recalled Tarkovsky's scriptwriter Tonino Guerra. "[He] often reflected on the way that time flies and this is precisely what he wanted: to stop it, even with these quick Polaroid shots."
'Nostalgia: Before and After - Important Polaroids by Andrey Tarkovsky' takes place at Bonhams in London on October 6.
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