Chateau Gabriel Yves Saint Laurent: Country House, Normandy

1986, early print
Cibachrome photograph

Signed, titled, dated and artist stamp on print verso.

As the creative director of photography for Vogue, Horst’s portraits were in demand. He took on assignments of photographing noteworthy and prominent individuals. Among these photographs is that of Yves Saint Laurent, taken in the country home of him and his partner, Pierre Bergé, “Château Gabriel” in the northwest of France. As one of the most influential designers of the time, Yves Saint Laurent was photographed by Horst from the 1950s to the 1980s. In this image “Château Gabriel” Yves Saint Laurent”, commissioned by French Vogue in December of 1983, Horst captures a relaxed Saint Laurent perched on his couch within the interior of his home, in suit and tie, smiling towards the camera and exuding a cosmopolitan radiance. Châtaeu Gabriel was designed to reflect the aristocratic French world of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time; Saint Laurent was Swann and Bergé the Baron de Charlus. Artist Paul Meriguet painted the water lily mural while a friend, Jacques Grange, decorated the interior. The château and its rooms, named after characters in Proust’s novel, ultimately served as a refuge from the heat they experienced in their summer home in Marrakech. This rare, lifetime signed photograph is an example of how the refinement of Horst helped define and heighten the elegance and almost magical world of Yves Saint Laurent.