10 months ago
Officially unveiled in Paris, the 44th annual Pirelli calendar, shot by photographer Peter Lindbergh, has the usual glamour with a more grounded take: no Photoshop. The iconic series features the likes of Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, and 37 other women, with their unadulterated beauty and raw strength showing through.
During the launch, Lindbergh explained that his aim in undertaking this edition was “to create a calendar, not around perfect bodies, but on sensitivity and emotion, stripping down to the very soul of the sitters, who thus become more nude than naked.”
To convey Lindbergh’s idea of natural beauty and femininity, the 40-image calendar highlights 14 internationally renowned actresses—including Jessica Chastain, Rooney Mara, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlotte Rampling, Léa Seydoux, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Robin Wright, and Zhang Ziyi. Additionally, from the field of academia, Anastasia Ignatova—a political theory professor at Moscow State University—makes an appearance in the calendar, a refreshing break from tradition.
“I wanted to show women in a different way: I did this by asking actresses who have always played an important role in my life and to try and get as close to them as possible through my photos,” the German photographer said. “As an artist, I feel I have a responsibility to free women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. Society’s ideal of perfection is impossible to achieve.”
Shot in five different locations between May and June, the resulting portraits were made not only in the studio, but also in a number of city corners and on open-air sets. You find a diverse range of locales in Lindberg’s series: everywhere from streets and fast food joints to run-down hotels and attic roofs. Some of the shoot locations included downtown Los Angeles, Times Square in New York, the Sophiensaele theater in Berlin, and the beach at Le Touquet in France.
Lindbergh is the only photographer to earn this coveted job four times. Including this year’s, he shot the 1996 calendar in the El Mirage desert in California, and the 2002 calendar at the studios of Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles. In 2014, it was again Lindbergh, together with Patrick Demarchelier, who took the photographs to celebrate 50 years of the calendar, which was first launched in 1964.
Learn more about the inspiration behind this year’s calendar and its storied history here. Take a peek behind the scenes of the shoot in the video below.
—Relaxnews with additional reporting by the RealClearLife staff