Léon Gimpel (1878–1948)

Léon Gimpel, a pioneer of French photojournalism, was quick to experiment with the new colour technology. His “eyewitness” photographs avoided the melodrama that graphic artists sometimes produced for popular magazines. This approach made his images of life in the trenches seem candid and informal, his subjects looking dispassionately at the camera.

Gimpel’s own interest in the potential of modern technology – he continued to experiment with photographic techniques well into the 1920s – found ample material in the rapid technical developments of the war.

SFP 806/131-A
Léon Gimpel
The Farman aircraft factory, 1917
print from autochrome
Société Française de Photographie
SFP 806/131-A

SFP 806/248-A
Léon Gimpel
French soldiers, Carency, 1915
print from autochrome
Société Française de Photographie
SFP 806/248-A

SFP 806/272-A
Léon Gimpel
French soldiers manning a trench, 1915
print from autochrome
Société Française de Photographie
SFP 806/272-A

SFP 806/132-A
Léon Gimpel
The Farman aerodrome, 1918
print from autochrome
Société Française de Photographie
SFP 806/132-A