Daniel Masclet Biography

Daniel Masclet




Photograoher Daniel Masclet was born in Blois, France in 1892. He did not attend formal schooling, being taught at home by his parents instead. At age ten he was given cello and violin lessons, eventually becoming a young virtuoso and competing in Paris. In his late teens he taught himself photography and compiled an album of photographs (now lost) during his tour of duty in the First World War. Upon his return from the front, he met photographer Robert Demachy, who would later introduce him to Baron Adolf de Meyer, and in the 1920s they frequented the Photo-Club de Paris.

Masclet took a position at Harper's Bazaar as Baron de Meyer's technical assistant in 1920, perfecting lighting and composition techniques under de Meyer's exacting guidance. From 1925 to 1928 he was employed by Lucien Vogel of Vogue before opening his own studio in Paris, specializing in historicist portraits. After a decisive meeting with American Modernist photographer Edward Weston in 1933 Masclet's style soon took a new course, exhibiting the influence of minimalism and abstraction with particular focus on landscapes. He published a variety of books on the subject of photography, including: Nus: La Beauty de la Femme, in 1933.

Among the projects he helped found were the Groupe des XV with Marcel Bovis, Robert Doisneau, Rene-Jaques, Pierre Jahan, Willy Ronis, and Emmanuel Sougaz, and in 1952 he founded the 30 x 40 Club with Roger Doloy, which helped bring young photographers to the art photography scene. An exhibition curator, juror, and critic, he was a major figure on the European photographic scene. Masclet continued to work and exhibit until his death in Paris in 1969. he remains a mainstay of French photography to this day.