Madame Yevonde

b. 1893, United Kingdom
d. 1975

Yevonde, also known as Madame Yevonde, was a London-based photographer of portraits and still life throughout much of the twentieth century. She was a pioneer in photographic techniques, experimenting with solarisation and associated particularly with the Vivex colour process, which she utilised to great effect in the 1930s. ‘If we are going to have colour photographs, for heaven’s sake let’s have a riot of colour, none of your wishy washy hand tinted effects’ said Yevonde in 1932 in an address to the Royal Photographic Society.

As an innovator committed to colour photography when it was not considered a serious medium, Yevonde’s work is significant in the history of British portrait photography. Her most renowned body of work is a series of women dressed as goddesses posed in surreal tableaux exhibited in 1935.