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Clarence Sinclair Bull (American, 1895–1979)
LOT ID: 69130
Greta Garbo in Mata Hari, 1931

Silver Print, gelatin silver print
20 х 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm.)
Stamped, Stamped signed lower right margin, blind embossed lower right margin, stamped and numbered on the verso.
Edition of 99
Lot description
Clarence Sinclair Bull, Greta Garbo in "Mata Hari", November 19, 1931. 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, photographer's stamp on verso, 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
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Greta Garbo in Mata Hari by Clarence Sinclair Bull
  • Greta Garbo in Mata Hari by Clarence Sinclair Bull
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Clarence Sinclair Bull

    Greta garbo in "mata hari" #12
    photographs, silver print
    (H 20, W 16) in.
    (50.8 x 40.6) cm.
    Ed. of 99
    Sold for: US$1,725
    Friday, April 13, 2012
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 64916
  • Clarence Sinclair Bull

    Greta garbo in "the kiss"
    photographs, silver print
    (H 20, W 16) in.
    (50.8 x 40.6) cm.
    Ed. of 99
    Sold for: US$1,725
    Tuesday, March 13, 2012
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 63757
  • Clarence Sinclair Bull

    Greta garbo in "mata hari"
    photographs, silver print
    (H 20, W 16) in.
    (50.8 x 40.6) cm.
    Ed. 99
    Sold for: US$1,150
    Friday, November 04, 2011
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 57101
  • Clarence Sinclair Bull

    Greta Garbo as Mata Hari
    photographs, silver print
    (H 20, W 16) in.
    (50.8 x 40.6) cm.
    Sold for: US$1,150
    Wednesday, March 02, 2011
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 43026
  • Clarence Sinclair Bull

    Greta Garbo as Mata Hari
    photographs, silver print
    (H 20, W 16) in.
    (50.8 x 40.6) cm.
    Ed. of 99
    Sold for: US$1,150
    Wednesday, January 05, 2011
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 39696
  • Clarence Sinclair Bull

    Greta garbo as mata hari
    photographs, silver print
    (H 20, W 16) in.
    (50.8 x 40.6) cm.
    Ed. of 99
    Sold for: US$1,150
    Thursday, November 04, 2010
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 35973
  • Clarence Sinclair Bull

    Greta Garbo "the kiss"
    photographs, silver print
    (H 20, W 16) in.
    (50.8 x 40.6) cm.
    Ed. 99
    Sold for: US$1,150
    Wednesday, July 21, 2010
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 29730
  • Clarence Sinclair Bull

    Greta Garbo for The Kiss
    gelatin silver print
    (H 19.9, W 15.9) in.
    (50.5 x 40.5) cm.
    Ed. 10/99
    Sold for: US$2,250
    Thursday, May 20, 2010
    Bonhams London
    Lot 00060
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