Chet Baker (American, 1929-1988) and Liliane Rovére (French, b. 1933)

Chet Baker (American, 1929-1988); Liliane Rovére (French, b. 1933)

William Claxton captures jazz musician Baker’s and actor Rovére’s love affair in the 1950s. Rovére later credited their split to Baker not knowing what to do with the talent he possessed. The “Prince of Jazz,” as many called him, was hindered in his career due to serial involvement in drugs and petty crime. While Rovére would find success in her later years, Baker died in the Netherlands in a drug-related accident in 1988. While their lives went in different directions following their relationship, the photograph from Claxton depicts their passion with Rovére looking confidently at the camera and Baker hugging her waist while sitting with his trumpet in front of him. This image seems both natural and posed at the same time.