Magazine article Newsweek

Through the Eyes of Testino: Diana's Last Portraits Bring the Artist Fame

Magazine article Newsweek

Through the Eyes of Testino: Diana's Last Portraits Bring the Artist Fame

Article excerpt

Diana's last portraits bring the artist fame

MARIO TESTINO HAS SHOT AD CAMPAIGNS for Gucci, the Gap and Versace. He is a favorite contributor to the Big Four fashion magazines: American, Italian, British and French Vogue. Though little known outside the fashion world, the Peruvian-born 43-year-old has become one of the most important photographers in the business. Says Madonna, one of his models, "Mario's photographs have an incredibly fresh energy. Very real and very sexy." Another fan, Gucci designer Tom Ford; says of Testino: "He brings out an extraordinary sensual quality in people. Look at Diana."

We have. Since the Princess of Wales's death in August, Testino's portraits of Diana-taken in March, at her last formal sitting--have helped shape our collective memory of her. They have also raised Testino's profile worldwide. Taken to promote the auction of Diana's gowns at Christie's in June, the pictures were sold to magazines and netted $800,000 for her favorite charities. After Diana's death, Testino sold the rights to use the photos again (to NEWSWEEK, among others) and donated the proceeds to the same charities.

The Diana captured in those pictures was a new Diana: fit, tan and utterly happy. But the images are also classic Testino. He is best known for his intimate portraits, often shot in natural daylight, which gives his subjects a warm glow. With no hot lights to intimidate, it's even easier for Testino to charm and disarm his models. …

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