Chim: David Seymour's Humanist Photography
National Gallery of Art, home page
Image: David Seymour (Chim), Henri Barbusse and Left-wing Intellectuals at his Monde Office, Paris, 1935, gelatin silver print, printed 1982 David Seymour (Chim)
Henri Barbusse and Left-wing Intellectuals at his Monde Office, Paris, 1935
gelatin silver print, printed 1982
National Gallery of Art, Gift of Ben Shneiderman
© David Seymour Estate/Magnum Photos

Paris

Henri Barbusse and Left-wing Intellectuals at his Monde Office, Paris

Acclaimed French writer Henri Barbusse, a long-time pacifist and communist, was a leading figure in the campaign of French leftist intellectuals to combat fascism and improve workers' conditions. Chim took this group portrait of Barbusse and his like-minded peers in the Paris offices of Barbusse's new literary journal, Monde, during the International Writers' Congress for the Defense of Culture. By posing them before a socialist realist mural and practically incorporating some of the painted figures into the portrait, Chim underscored the close alliance of intellectuals and workers that would be critical to electing the leftist Front Populaire to office in France in 1936.