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Photograph - The Face of the Water
  • The Face of the Water
    Kronig, David, born 1923 - died 1993
  • Enlarge image

The Face of the Water

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Geneva (photographed)

  • Date:

    1959-1964 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kronig, David, born 1923 - died 1993 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    gelatin silver prints glued on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 956, box C

David Kronig was born in Erith, Kent as David William Newton King. He spent his childhood living in the UK, after which he studied in St Gallen, Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland. During the Second World War he settled in Geneva, where he became acquainted with Alberto Giacometti. After the war and the death of his father he returned to the UK and changed his name to David Christian Kronig, reverting to the original family name which had been Anglicised during WW1. From 1953 to1964 he worked for various publishers in Geneva and London, among them Albert Skira. He did a number of portraits and reportages about notable figures from the art world, among them Alberto Giocometti and Marc Chagall. Wanting 'to make those still images move', he joined the BBC art features department in 1965. In the 1980s Kronig moved from London to Sussex, where he died in 1993.

Physical description

Book dummy with 82 black and white photographs of water surfaces and numbered pages. Pages are loose, or attached in pairs of 2, 3 or 4 pages which unfold like a leperello

Place of Origin

Geneva (photographed)


1959-1964 (made)


Kronig, David, born 1923 - died 1993 (made)

Materials and Techniques

gelatin silver prints glued on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Pages are numbered in pencil


Height: 242 mm photographs, Width: 194 mm photographs

Object history note

Purchased from the photographer

Descriptive line

David Kronig, 'The Face of the Water'. Book dummy with 82 black and white prints of water surfaces, 1959-1964.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

David Kronig, 'Jeux d'eau' in: Réalités, No 207, April 1936. Similar studies of the water surface appear in this French monthly.

David Kronig, 'Alberto Giocometti' in: Radio TV, No 14, 2 april 1964

David Kronig, 'Henri Noverraz' in: Radio TV, 23 May 1965

Henri Presset Sculptures 1959-1988, exhbition catalogue with text by John Berger, includes 5 photographs by Kronig

Labels and date

Photo London: Benath the Surface
Somerset House 20 May - 24 August 2015

David Kronig (1923–93)
The Face of the Water, 1959–64

Kronig tested his book design for The Face of the Water by creating a full-scale dummy. Although the book was never published, the dummy provides an insight into his creative process. Kronig’s desire to ‘make still images move’ is reflected in his studies of the water surface. Meandering across the pages, his photographs suggest fluidity through careful sequencing. They were taken where the river Arve joins the Rhône near Geneva, where Kronig lived from 1959 to 1964.

Gelatin silver prints
V&A Museum no. Ph.751-1987


Paper; Photographic paper




Photographs; Books


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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