The French Riviera has been home to many of the world’s top celebrities over the years, and home also to their array of interesting pets!
Irish photographer Edward Quinn spent his life on the French Riviera, capturing the shining stars of the day on film, preserving the magic of those boom years for future generations. He made his debut as a professional photojournalist at an equestrian show jumping competition in Nice in 1950, with his first photograph being published in the Irish Independent.
The French Riviera of the 1950s and 60s was a veritable El Dorado. Quinn’s wife, Gret, once said of this golden age, “In the fifties, looking around on the Riviera, you thought everyone was beautiful and happy.” And how could you disagree, with its host of shining stars such as Grace Kelly, Salvador Dalí, Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn — the list is nearly endless!
“Edward Quinn brought artistry to celebrity photos,” as People Magazine once wrote about him. Celebrities, both now and in the glamorous 1950s and 60s, tend to look shy, stilted, and intent on keeping their guard up when photographed. But not with Quinn. How did he get such impressively authentic portraits of his subjects? His discreet and gentle manner certainly helped, as did his trick of shooting stars with their pets.
Celebrity Pets proves this tactic was a huge success. In the presence of their beloved pets, the stars are incredibly approachable and natural, whether it is Picasso romping with his dogs Kabul and Lump, or writer Somerset Maugham on all fours playing with his Pekingese Chin. We see Prince Rainer using a tiger as an icebreaker with Grace Kelly (see lead image above), and mixed-breed dog Guapa where every man dreamed of being: in bed with Brigitte Bardot (pictured below).
A worthy follow-up to Edward Quinn’s successful titles, Stars and Cars of the 50s and Riviera Cocktail, Celebrity Pets is a unique treat for both animal lovers and fans of the glamorous stars of the 1950s and 1960s.
Celebrity Pets – On the French Riviera in the 50s and 60s by Edward Quinn, published by teNeues, € 59,90
All images courtesy teNeues and © 2014 edwardquinn.com, All rights reserved; lead image Grace Kelly on her first visit to the palace of Monaco and her first meeting with Prince Rainier of Monaco 1955; Movie director Roger Vadim and mixed-breed Guapa in bed with Brigitte Bardot, Hotel Negresco, Nice 1958; book cover – Elizabeth Taylor stands with one of her two Miniature Poodles in front of Villa Fiorentina, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat 1957