From Diana to Bardot, iconic Paris Match photos to go under hammer

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They are the defining images of newsmakers down the decades from Princess Diana to Brigitte Bardot to Pope John Paul II.

And now some 130 of the most iconic pictures taken by the French magazine Paris Match are to be auctioned on November 25 in Paris for prices of between 1,500-4,000 euros ($1,660-4,400).

The auction of the celebrated covers and double-spreads will mark the 70th anniversary of a publication whose trend-setting influence has always gone well beyond France.

The pictures include powerful images from nature and conflict zones and also of politicians ranging from the deposed shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to Charles de Gaulle and late French president Jacques Chirac.

But among the most unforgettable are those of personalities who have shaped the zeitgeist of the last decades.

Perhaps the most famous is the image of Britain’s Princess Diana, sitting alone on the diving board of a luxury yacht as a bird flies by, just a week before her death in a Paris road accident in 1997.

“Yes, it is a paparazzi photo, but it’s one that has gone down in history. This photo is Diana, it’s Lady Di and she only had eight days to live,” said Marc Brincourt, former photo editor-in-chief at Paris Match and curator of the exhibition at the Cornette de Saint Cyr auction house in Paris.

“She is alone, on the diving board. And then the seagull going by,” he added.

Another image, by photographer Jack Garofalo from 1974, celebrates the 40th birthday of actress Brigitte Bardot, her chest exposed and flowers in her hair.

“In order to pose like that in front of Jack Garofalo, you need to have trust,” said Brincourt.

“There is a trust between star and the photographer. Why? Because in that era, the stars were friends with the photographers and the Paris Match reporters,” he added.