Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre Shooting a Gun in Their First Photo Together (1929)


In late 2012, an exhi­bi­tion called Shoot! Exis­ten­tial Pho­tog­ra­phy was held in Lon­don. And it traced the his­to­ry of an unusu­al attrac­tion that start­ed appear­ing in Euro­pean fair­grounds after World War I — the pho­to­graph­ic shoot­ing gallery. It worked some­thing like this: A con­tes­tant paid a lit­tle mon­ey, and tried to hit the cen­ter of a tar­get with a gun. If he or she hit the tar­get, a cam­era took a pho­to, and instead of win­ning a lit­tle toy, the con­tes­tant received a snap­shot of him or her­self shoot­ing the gun. Accord­ing to the exhi­bi­tion, this side-show “fas­ci­nat­ed many artists and intel­lec­tu­als in its hey­day, includ­ing Simone de Beau­voir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Man Ray and Lee Miller.” You can see a gallery of pho­tos here. But above, we have a pic­ture of de Beau­voir and Sartre at the shoot­ing gallery togeth­er. Tak­en at the Porte d’Or­léans fair­ground in Paris in June, 1929 — the same year the young philoso­phers met — this pho­to­graph is, accord­ing to the blog Avec Beau­voir, the cou­ple’s first pic­ture togeth­er. Do note that de Beau­voir appar­ent­ly hit the tar­get with her eyes closed. You can click the image to see it in a larg­er for­mat.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lovers and Philoso­phers — Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beau­voir Togeth­er in 1967

Simone de Beau­voir Explains “Why I’m a Fem­i­nist” in a Rare TV Inter­view (1975)

Philosophy’s Pow­er Cou­ple, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beau­voir, Fea­tured in 1967 TV Inter­view

Free Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es Online

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