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Clarence Sinclair Bull (American, 1895–1979)
LOT ID: 67374
Greta Garbo #4 in "Inspiration", 1930

Silver Print, gelatin silver print
20 х 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm.)
Stamped, Blind embossed "Clarence Sinclair Bull, Kobal Collection", Clarence Sinclair Bull's stamp on verso. Numbered on verso. Stamped signed in margin
Print/Casting Year ie. circa 1980
Edition of 99
Lot description
Clarence Sinclair Bull, Greta Garbo in "Inspiration".
December 12, 1930. Gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches, 50.8 x 40.64 cm. From an edition of 99. Printed from the original vintage camera negatives on Agva-Gevaett Portriga Rapid 118-#2. Stamped signed, blind embossed, stamped and numbered on the verso.

"The images were printed from the original vintage 8x10 negatives with Mrs. Clarence Sinclair Bull's permission and guidance in cooperation with and under the control, direction, and supervision of John Kobal from London who collaborated with Mr. Bull."

Clarence Sinclair Bull was Garbo's exclusive photographer. Garbo worked better with Bull then any other photographer as she felt more trusting and confident with him.

Clarence Sinclair Bull, along with George Hurrell, virtually invented celebrity portraiture as we know it today, capturing with rare artistry a breathtaking roster of stars in brilliant and often surprising ways. His magical and dream-like photographs (in particular his collaboration with Greta Garbo whom he photographed almost exclusively from 1929 until 1941) became the classic images of Hollywood and were instrumental in fixing the essential look of a star and in setting standards of beauty.

Bull's days at MGM included 200 of his enduring portraits of such legendary film stars as Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Hedy Lamarr, Gary Cooper, Elizabeth Taylor, Vivian Leigh, Spencer Tracy, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, and, of course, Greta Garbo. His accomplishments also include winning four Academy still photography exhibition awards.

Bull was born in Sun River, Montana in 1896 and studied with the great Western painter Charles Marion Russell. His early interest in photography took him to Hollywood in 1918 where he was hired as an assistant cameraman at Metro Pictures. He shot stills of the stars during the production breaks, and when Goldwyn merged with Metro in 1924, he became head of the MGM stills department, and remained at MGM for the rest of his career. He passed away in 1979.[aw]
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