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The Spirit of Travel by Jean Larivière

The Spirit of Travel by Jean Larivière

For nearly 40 years, Jean Larivière roamed the globe for Louis Vuitton, on a quest for the elusive ideal image – one that captures the Spirit of Travel.

Beginning in the 1980s, the French photographer brought back spectacular images from awe-inspiring places such as Greenland, Yemen, Burma, Reunion, Patagonia, Thailand and Nepal for the first ‘Spirit of Travel’ ad campaigns.  As some of the Maison’s most memorable imagery, the dreamlike series helped crystallise Louis Vuitton’s founding philosophy for a new era.

The journeys that Larivière underwent to get these shots were truly expeditions in themselves, each time searching out places that were more and more distant and increasingly inaccessible.

Of one such image, taken south of the Gran Salar lake in Chili, Larivière shares, “It took 5 hours in an off-road vehicle to reach the location which is the largest impact crater in Chile. When I got there the sun was going down and I didn't have time to put a camera stand, I threw a sandbag on the ground, balanced my camera on it, I took two photos with two different rockets.”

With his keen eye for detail and an almost obsessive desire for precision, Larivière worked by imagining the composition of his photographs before taking them and succeeding in infusing the images with a rare sense of alchemy.

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