Alexey Brodovitch (1898-1971) was an art director, photographer, painter, illustrator and teacher. Born in Russia (St. Petersburg), he has worked mostly in America. His almost thirty years at Harper’s, from 1934 to 1958, left a deep mark on the world of fashion magazines for his choice of daring and innovative solutions in the field of graphic layout and photography. Outstanding was his influence on an entire generation of young art directors and photographers, starting with Irving Penn, his assistant in 1939 when Brodovitch was artistic director at the New York department store Sacks Fifth Avenue. The son of a psychiatrist and a painter, due to the outbreak of World War I he was unable to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersbur and had to enter the military. After the Russian Revolution, he moved to Paris where Diaghilev asked him to paint stage sets for his ballet company. He was, in those years, a theorist of applied art. Then he emigrated to America. The Museum School of Industrial Design in Philadelphia hired him to give classes on advertising. Shortly after, he began his long career at Harper’s. In 1945 he published the photography book Ballet, which he dedicated to Diaghilev. From 1947 to ’49 Richard Avedon made his studio available to him for a workshop on design. In 1959 he worked with Avedon on his book Observations, which had a preface by Truman Capote. In 1966 he moved to Paris where, 16 years later, thanks to the photographer Georges Tourdjman, a student of his, there would be a large exhbit dedicated to him. His generous style is recognizable both in the page layout of the magazines he directed and in the concept of space that characterizes the exhibits he organized. There is the use of Bodoni type in capital letters, the idea of not making two similar pages one after the other, and the knowledge that the art director is much more effective when his “signature” is discreet. Though having a very strong character — it was not by chance that Penn would recall his teacher’s early experience as an officer in the Czar’s army — Brodovitch represented the prototype of the brave and cultivated man, able to instill confidence in young talent, even if not famous yet. In 2002, the publisher Phaidon dedicated a large monograph to him.