Pierre Verger – Photo

© photo Pierre Verger, Belem, Brazil 1947
© photo Pierre Verger, Belem, Brazil 1947


(through all the world - Africa, Caribbean, South America, Brazil, Usa, Asia, Europe)


born in 1902 in Paris - died in 1996 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil


active from 1932 to 1962 app.




The most human photographer loving world. A respectful and tender glance from a still virgin time. A rediscovery of the photographer Pierre Verger, before his revival in Fatumbi (initiated in Vodoo worship).


In 1932, at the age of thirty, Pierre Verger decided to leave everything and travel, devoting himself to photography. He was to become one of the great photographers of this time, publishing photographs of peoples all over the world. His vision of Humanity transcends all traditions and all differences. Driven by this same curiosity and love of the world he also became one of the first to research into Vodoo and the history of the negro slave trade between Africa and Americas. The 210 photographs presented in this book tell the sensitive and moving tale of a great talent still today unknown.



[run the slideshow below]

He attends George-Henri Rivière, Michel Leiris (who open him the African world to the Ethnographic Trocadero Museum in Paris as the evenings of "Negro Dance"), the “Jacques Prévert band”, and humaniste photographers of the time (Zuber, Boucher, Feher, Bellon then Capa with whom he founds the agency Alliance Photo). He works for teh newpapers Paris-Soir, Daily Mirror, Paris Match, Paul Hartmann publisher… His view of humanity transcends all folklore and differences.


Turned off by the horror of the Sino-Japanese war where he photographs for the agency Alliance Photo, and the position of voyeurism as a press photographer, he gives up this type of photography and continues to travel freely without any purpose other than meeting with others. From continent to continent, from Africa to Americas, he met Alfred Metraux, Roger Bastide...



In 1948, Theodore Monod (then director of IFAN Dakar) requires him to write notes next to his photographs.



He becomes thus researcher on the Yoruba worship in Africa and Brazil (cf “Gods of Africa” Revue Noire editions) and later member of CNRS (scientific research centre). this allows him to finally live more easily.



But, according to him, he loses the “spontaneousness of its glance on the world”. He then gradually gives up photography, its "active unconscious" that he rediscovers in preparing this book, made at our request, of loving photographs of others.body.



Pierre Verger has been published extensively in his life, first in the press for years 1930-50. Then pictures in books dealing with different countries mainly from his friend the publisher Hartman. Also since 1953 in scientific publications on relationship of the Africans from the 2 continents (Africa and Brazil) and their religions.



Then come the more mainstream books about voodoo where images have an important place. Illustrative pictures or photographies per se, the choice is still hesitant. From 1980, Corupio Editions in Brazil have published the works of Pierre Verger.



In 1993, Revue Noire Editions publishes "Le Messager, The Go-Between", 30 years of photography in love with the world, which will rediscovered the photographer in the West.





'En Espagne' - by M. Legendre - Hartman, Paris - 1935

'Italie, des Alpes à Sienne' - by J.L. Vaudoyer - Hartman - 1936

'South Sea Islands' - Condon Routlege &  sons, Londres - 1937

'Au Mexique' - Introduction by acques Soustelle - Paul Hartman, Paris - 1938

'Fiestas y Danzas en el Cuzco y en los Andes' - Editorial Sudamerica, Buenos Aires - 1945

'Incas of Peru' - Pochohontas Press, Chicago - 1950

'Brésil' - by A. Bon and M. Gautherot, introduction A. Lima - Paul Hartman, Paris - 1951

'Congo Belge' - by C. d’Ydewalle - Paul Hartman, Paris - 1952

'L’influence du Brésil au Golfe du Bénin' - Mémoire 27 de l’IFAN, Dakar - 1953

'Le Japon, entre la tradition et l’avenir' - by Georges Duhamel - Mercure de France - 1953

'Dieux d’Afrique' - Paul Hartman, Paris  - 1954

'Bahia de tous les poètes' - Guilde du Livre, Lausanne - 1955

'Première cérémonie d’initiation au culte des Orisha Nago à Bahia, au Brésil' - in Revista do Museu Paulista, vol. IX, Sáo Paulo - 1955

'Indiens pas morts' - Delpire, Editions Hoa Qui Paris - 1956

'Haïti, la terre, les hommes et les dieux' - Baconnerie, Neuchatel - 1957

'Notes sur le Culte des Orishá et Vodoun à Bahia, la Baie de Tous les Saints, au Brésil et sur l’ancienne Côte des Esclaves' - Mémoire 51 de l’IFAN - 1957

'Cuba' - Paul Hartman, Paris  - 1959

'Grandeur et décadence du culte de Iyami Osoronga (Ma mère la sorcière), chez les yoruba' - in Journal de la Société des Africanistes, tome 35, Paris - 1965

'The Yoruba high god' - in Odú, University of Ifé, Ilê-Ifé, Ibadan - 1966

'Les côtes d’Afrique Occidentale entre Rio Volta et Rio Lagos (1515-1773)' - in Journal de la Société des Africanistes, tome 38, Paris - 1968

'Flux et reflux de la traite des nègres entre le golfe de Bénin et Bahia de todos os santos' - Thèse de 3° cycle - Mouton, Paris - 1968

'Trance & convention in Nago-Yoruba spirit mediumship in Africa' - in Spirit Mediumship in Africa, London - 1969

'Automatisme verbal & communication du savoir chez les Yoruba'- in L’Homme tome XII, Paris - 1972

'Trade relations between the bight of Benin and Bahia' - Ibadan University Press, Ibadan - 1976

'Retratos da Bahia' - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1981

'Lendas dos Orixás' - illustration E. Guerra - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1981

'Noticias da Bahia' - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1981

'Oxossi, o Caçador' - illustration E. Guerra - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1981

'Orixás, Deuses Iorubás na Africa e no Novo Mundo' - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1981

'Orisha, Les dieux yorouba en Afrique et au Nouveau Monde' - Editions A.M. Métailié, Paris  - 1982

'50 anos de Fotografia' - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1982

'Lendas africanas dos orixás' - with illustrations by Carybé - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1985

'Fluxo e Refluxo do Tráfico de Escravos entre o Golfo de Bénin e a Bahia de Todos os Santos' - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1987

'Centro Histórico de Salvador' - Editora Corrupio, Salvador - 1989

'Pierre Verger, photographies' - Editions du Désastre - 1989

'Pierre Verger, le Messager-The Go-Between' - Editions Revue Noire, Paris - 1993

'Le pied à l’étrier', letters between Alfred Métraux and Pierre Verger de 1946-1963, editor Jean-Pierre Le Bouler, Editions Michel Place, Paris - 1994

'Dieux d’Afrique', re-edition of the 1954 Hartmann book, Editions Revue Noire, Paris - 1995





'Les mollécules sacrées' - film by Jean Lalier and Monique Toselo - ORTF, Paris - 1971

'Africains du Brésil et Brésiliens d’Afrique' - film by Yannick Bellon - ORTF, Paris - 1975

'Les Orisha' - film by Monique Toselo - TV2, Paris - 1985

'A tún pade' - video by José Guerra - Corrupio - 1989

'Pierre Verger, photographe' - talk with Pascal Martin Saint Léon, Paris Audiovisuel - La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris - 1993


Recent EXhibitions 



'Alliance Photo, une agence photographique française 1934-1940'  (with photographs by Pierre Verger, Pierre Boucher, René Zuber, Emeric Feher, Denise Bellon). Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris, Michael Gunther - 1988

'Pierre Verger, 1932-1962', Musée de l'Élysée de Lausanne (Suisse), Revue Noire - 1993

'Pierre Verger Le Messager', Musée des Arts africains et océaniens, Revue Noire, Paris - 1993

'Pierre Verger', Hôtel de Sully (Paris) Patrimoine de la Photographie 2005

Biennale de Paris, Palais de Tokyo, 2012



Revue Noire Publishing


Pierre Verger - Le Messager - The Go-Between
Pierre Verger - Le Messager - The Go-Between


Dieux d'Afrique, Pierre Verger
Dieux d'Afrique (Africa Gods), Pierre Verger