Introduction, part 2
Traditionally, a photographer would pose an author in his studio for a highly composed image that conformed to the classical tradition of portraiture; this served two functions: it was easier for the photographer to control light and equipment, and the final, staged photographs looked like paintings. Freund’s photographs of Malraux, however, were en plein air, and captured the romantic spirit of the artist as he walked along the rooftop of his apartment building, smoking a cigarette and being buffeted by wind on the stormy Parisian afternoon.
Malraux loved the photographs and became Freund’s champion among his friends. In 1935 he invited Freund to document the First International Congress in Defence of Culture in Paris, convened to rally artists and governments against the growing Nazi menace. Freund photographed some the most notable French artists of the day as well as those who attended from overseas, including E. M. Forster, Aldous Huxley, and Boris Pasternak.