To celebrate the 130th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s birth, each month this year, our licensee Snap Galleries will be releasing a carefully curated collection of images from our archives.
Collectors of fine art photography will be able to purchase authorised museum-quality limited-edition Charlie Chaplin photographs, produced by hand in the darkroom by a master printer on traditional heavyweight silver gelatin paper in a range of sizes.
They launched the first set of photographs from THE KID on 16th January. Visit the Snap Galleries website for details.
In “A Writer’s Notebook”, Somerset Maugham attributes Chaplin’s profound melancholy and loneliness to his impoverished days back in London and comments that Chaplin is nostalgic to those days: “Charlie Chaplin… his fun is simple and sweet and spontaneous. And yet all the time you have a feeling that at the back of all is a profound melancholy. He is a creature of moods and it does not require his facetious assertion ‘Gee, I had such a fit of the blues last night I didn’t hardly know what to do with myself’ to warn you that his humour is lined with sadness. He does not give you the impression of a happy man. I have a notion that he suffers from a nostalgia of the slums. The celebrity he enjoys, his wealth, imprison him in a way of life in which he finds only constraint. I think he looks back to the freedom of his struggling youth, with its poverty and bitter privation, with a longing which knows it can never be satisfied. To him the streets of southern London are the scene of frolic, gaiety and extravagant adventure…I can imagine him going into his own house and wondering what on earth he is doing in this strange man’s dwelling. I suspect that the only home he can ever look upon as such is a second-floor back in the Kennington Road. One night I walked with him in Los Angeles and presently our steps took us to the poorest quarter of the city. There were sordid tenement houses and the shabby gaudy shops in which are sold the various goods that the poor buy from day to day. His face lit up and a buoyant tone came into his voice as he exclaimed, ‘Say, this is the real life, isn’t it? All the rest is just sham.’”
In “My Autobiography”, Chaplin, annoyed by Maugham’s “attitude of wanting to make poverty attractive”, retorts that he does not know any poor man who has nostalgia for poverty. He concludes: “In spite of Maugham’s assumptions, like everyone else I am what I am: an individual, unique and different, with a lineal history of ancestral promptings and urgings; a history of dreams, desires, and of special experiences, all of which I am the sum total.”
“Interviewers have asked me how I get ideas for pictures and to this day I am not able to answer satisfactorily. […] How does one get ideas? By sheer perseverance to the point of madness. One must have a capacity to suffer anguish and sustain enthusiasm over a long period of time. Perhaps it’s easier for some people than others, but I doubt it.” - Charles Chaplin, My Autobiography