2015 - Pentti Sammallahti

A Finnish photographer, Pentti Sammallahti was born in 1950 in Helsinki into a family of craftsmen. His grandfather was the Swedish photographer Hildur Larsson. P. Sammallahti developed an interest in photography and printing very early in life and presented his first one-man show in 1971. Becoming a teacher at the same time, he shared his passion for photography with the students of Lahti Art School and then at the Helsinki School of Art and Design. 

He achieved recognition when he won the Finnish national photography prize at the age of 25; he won it again in 1979, 1992 and 2009.

In 1991, the granting of an art teaching scholarship enabled him to leave teaching and devote himself to his work. The 1990s thus marked a turning point in his career. It was then that Pentti Sammallahti began to travel and exhibit his work all over the world. In 1996, he organized his first exhibition in France at the Finnish Institute.

Beyond his photo reportages, Pentti Sammallahti also attaches great importance to photographs as a “concrete object” and has published more than forty books or portfolios of “Opus.”

His work is both striking and universal, and for Baron Eric de Rothschild it was obvious that he should be invited to Château Lafite Rothschild. In his photographs of Lafite he creates a blend light and darkness, in which he manages to capture the château’s beauty and spirit.