This exquisite and casually intimate study of Marilyn was shot for Life Magazine but remarkably not used in the final edition. Over the years, collectors have come to regard it as one of the very best portraits of Marilyn Monroe.
It is a silver-gelatin print and features the artist's signature, in ink, on recto, and his hand stamp, along with the title and date, in ink, on verso. The image was originally photographed in 1953 but printed later under Eisenstaedt's personal supervision.
1953 was a breakout year in Marilyn's career, as she starred in three of her most acclaimed and memorable movies, 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', 'How to Marry a Millionaire' and 'Niagara'.
This beautiful print was originally acquired from Christie's, New York, by a private collector on October, 15th, 2004, before acquisition for The Kudos Collection.
Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) became a professional photographer in 1929, when he was hired by the Associated Press office in his native Germany. As his family was Jewish, Nazi oppression forced them to emigrate to the United States in 1935. Eisenstaedt settled in New York and was hired in 1936 by Time Magazine founder, Henry Luce, as one of the four original staff photographers for his newly acquired Life magazine. Eisenstadt is undoubtedly one of America's preeminent photojournalists. By 1972, his last year at Life, he had photographed nearly 2500 stories and provided 90 images for the front cover! He subsequently went on to work for Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.
In addition to Marilyn, Eisenstaedt photographed many celebrities and dignitaries during his career, including Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, The Clinton Family and an iconic series of portraits of Italian screen-legend, Sophia Loren. However, undoubtedly, his most famous photo was the indelible image of a sailor joyfully kissing a young woman in New York's Times Square on VJ Day, August 14th, 1945.