Lucien Clergue (French: [klɛʁg]; 14 August 1934 – 15 November 2014) was a French photographer. He was Chairman of the Academy of Fine Arts, Paris for 2013.
Lucien Clergue was born in Arles, France. At the age of 7 he began learning to play the violin, and after several years of study his teacher admitted that he had nothing more to teach him. Clergue was from a family of shopkeepers and could not afford to pursue further studies in a college or university school of music, such as a conservatory.
In 1949, he learned the basics of photography. Four years later, at a corrida in Arles, he showed his photographs to Spanish painter Pablo Picasso who, though subdued, asked to see more of his work. Within a year and a half, young Clergue worked on his photography with the goal of sending more images to Picasso. During this period, he worked on a series of photographs of travelling entertainers, acrobats and harlequins, the « Saltimbanques ». He also worked on a series whose subject was carrion.