Lennart Nilsson

Making the invisible visible - With his groundbreaking photographs of human embryos and other medical subjects, often regarded unphotographable, Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson (1922-2017) has given us completely new knowledge about the miracle of life and the human body. Even though most famous for his medical photography, Nilsson is also regarded as one of Sweden’s leading photojournalists, travelling the world making photo reportages published in the most prestigious magazines worldwide. In the 1950s, Nilsson began experimenting with new photographic techniques, like  macro- and microphotography. These resulted in, among others, the series Ants and Life in the Sea. He achieved international fame in 1965, when his photographs of the beginning of human life appeared on the cover, and on sixteen pages, of Life Magazine in the photo-essay titled Drama of Life Before Birth. The photographs was included in A Child is Born (1965), today considered one of the most important books of the 20th century understanding human reproduction. A theme he continued for almost 40 years.

In 1976 Lennart Nilsson was awarded an honorary doctorate at Karolinska Institutet, and in 2009 he was given the title Professor’s name by the Swedish Government.