Florence Henri Photographer


Florence Henri Photographer


Florence Henri was a photographer and an artist. She is known for her work in photography, portraits, advertising, and art. She is, however, well known for her work in photography. Initially, she took photography as her freelance activity until at the age of thirty-four when she enrolled as a non-matriculating student at Bauhaus in Dessau, where she studied photography. The choice of Henri and her work in photography is due to the unique way in which she manipulated mirrors, prisms, and other reflective objects with her subjects that confound the viewer’s ability to be able to distinguish between reality and reflection. Her experimentation with photomontage is also of more interest to me, as she was able to create multiple exposures negative printing and photograms, which consistently constructed images that undermined the camera’s capacity for realism in creating artificial, multifaceted and imagined spaces. She was exemplary producing spatial and psychological ambiguity, which was produced by her disorienting composition making her work unique and exciting to learn from.

Technique and Composition

Florence created photography that she is best known for between 1928 to the late 1930s (Koetzle,2011,p7). She often encompassed the use of prisms and reflections, complicating her images. She further experimented with techniques such as photograms, photomontage, and multiple exposures. She was influenced by constructivism and cubism to start experimenting with mirrors. In the beginning, she only used them for the purpose of reflection on her portraits and self-portraits, but later on, she gave them a much more central role in her work. She made her self-portraits with spheres reflecting with both spheres and metal spheres. This work quickly became acceptable and a famous modernist landmark, becoming part of seminal international exhibitions (Carole,2015).

Florence, a wide range of work, explores the mechanics of perception. These are inclusive of numerous portraits; still, life is which are mostly of industrial objects, advertising photos, and abstract composition. There are also numerous self-portraits, sensual female nudes that are inclusive of natural elements such as hyacinths, shells, and street photographs that have been taken in Paris, Rome, and Brittany. Her work also has an exceptional Vitrines series (Diane,2019). They include layered reflections from shop windows and photomontages that have been made up of her own cut-up photographs of architectural detail in Rome. She often used deep shadow that did bisect and fragment the image. In addition, she combined several negatives obtaining dynamic juxtapositions.

Henri was much conditioned by her sensitivity to geometric abstract in painting, also the innovation of the new vision photography. Her inspiration and motivation led to the second birth of photography becoming more profound and more nuanced. It also led to a greater appreciation for the innovative work that may be spoken of having transcended visual experiments.


In a permissive world in Paris and Bauhaus, Henri found a potential space for the fusion of her ideas in photography. She brought such inspiration and a new way of looking and approaching photography. She shows an aggressively stabilized anti-space of mirrors and glass in the construction of her images and portraits. Her images are now held by major institutions around the world and in exhibitions.




Koetzle, Hans-Michael. Photographers AZ. Taschen, 2011.

Naggar, Carole. “Https://Time.Com”. Time, 2015, https://time.com/3675305/florence-henri-jeu-de-paume/.

Symth, Diane. “Florence Henri: Reflecting Bauhaus”. British Journal Of Photography, 2019, https://www.bjp-online.com/2019/04/florence-henri-reflecting-bauhaus/.

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