The renowned German photographer, who rose to fame in the late 1980s and was best known for his cinematic portraits and iconic Vogue covers, has died at the age of 74.
The news was confirmed by his agent directly with Vogue and announced on his Instagram page: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Peter Lindbergh on September 3rd 2019, at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife Petra, his first wife Astrid, his four sons Benjamin, Jérémy, Simon, Joseph and seven grandchildren. He leaves a big void.”
Lindbergh was born in Leszno, Poland, and raised in Duisburg, Germany, before moving to Paris, France in 1978, when he began working internationally for Vogue.
Known for his cinematic portraits, he rose to fame during the late 1980s, when he photographed a group of rising models – set to become supers – in white shirts for American Vogue in 1988. His shoot for British Vogue in 1990, featuring Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz and Christy Turlington, has become one of the most iconic Vogue covers of all time.
This year alone, he’s photographed covers for Vogue Spain, Vogue Germany, Vogue Arabia and L’Uomo Vogue; and most recently he shot British Vogue’s September issue, guest edited by the Duchess of Sussex.
The photographer was famed for never retouching his images – ensuring the magazines he worked with signed contracts to agree to this. Sharing his non-negotiable stance on letting his subjects be freely portrayed, without conforming to societal pressures, Lindbergh wrote in his 2015 book, Images of Women II (Schirmer Mosel): “If photographers are responsible for creating or reflecting an image of women in society, then, I must say, there is only one way for the future, and this is to define women as strong and independent. This should be the responsibility of photographers today: to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.”