Josef Breitenbach (1896 Germany – 1984 New York) was a photographer best known for his sensitive and dynamic portraits of artistic luminaries and for his early use of color as an expressive element in photography.
Breitenbach began taking photographs while working in the family wine merchant business. Proving less than successful at the latter, he opened his first photographic studio in 1932 which was closed one year later, after Hitler took power.
Breitenbach was forced to flee to Paris in 1933 where he opened a new studio. He became friends with Andre Breton, yet never truly joined the Surrealist group of his peers. However, he did show his photographs alongside such luminaries as Man Ray, Cartier-Bresson, and Brassaï. During the six years he lived in Paris, he experimented with many newer photographic techniques, mainly superimpression. Most notably, he was one of the first photographers to produce work in color.