Verger Pierre
Verger Pierre
Etude de nue de Tahitienne

Pierre Verger

About the artist

1902 — 1996

Pierre Verger, born in Paris in 1902, was a French photojournalist and anthropologist who spent a lifetime traveling extensively, particularly in Latin America and Africa. While working in Paris and taking commercial commissions, Verger would sometimes accept payment in the form of travel tickets. In the late 1940s, he settled in Brazil, in the state of Bahia. Here he would befriend many locals while searching out subjects for his work, many of whom were black and practiced the African diasporic religion Candomblé.

Verger's deep interest in Candomblé would later take him to Africa, where he would become deeply engrained for several years in local communities, becoming a historian as much as a documenter of the present, with a focus on the customs and religions of the Yoruba people in both Africa and Bahia. The French Institute of Black Africa would later commission a report from Verger on his travels and findings in the region as he leaned fully into social anthropology, still facilitated by photography.

Verger spent the sixties and seventies moving between the two continents as a nomad — he disengaged from photography in 1973 — before turning his focus to the publication of his research in Brazil in the eighties. The Pierre Verger Foundation was formed 1988 to begin this process. Eight years later, Verger would die in Salvador, leaving a legacy of exceptional curiosity and cultural wealth.

Technical information

Image 1: Shanghai, 1937
Size: 28 x 18,4 cm 

Image 2: Jeune marchand de jouete, 1950
Size: 27,2 x 21,3 cm 
Print techique: gelatin silver

Image 3: Etude de nue de Tahitienne, 1933
Size: 24 x 29,4 cm 
Print techique: gelatin silver
Extra: photographer's stamp on reverse, minor scratches in corner