The group leaves excepted Penn who takes his Christmas holidays in Cuzco. In this ancient Inca capital at 3,300 m in height in the Andes, he sees a population of small mountaineers quietly walking in the streets.
Throughout his long career Irving Penn is not an outdoor photographer. He installs his equipment in a photographer's studio unused since the 19th century and takes photos of children around an incongruous Victorian pedestal table.
His image of a boy and his younger sister in their rustic clothes is one of his masterpieces. It moves the viewer by giving a fair impression of the similarity between children all over the world in the diversity of races. Both have the same stiff posture and vague gaze. They wait for the artist to do his task and hold their hands on the table to comfort one another.
Much later in his studio in Long Island, Irving Penn prints this now famous photo in 50 x 50 cm using his best process which is platinum and palladium.
A 1971 print was sold for $ 530K including premium by Christie's on April 11, 2008 over a lower estimate of $ 250K. A print numbered 17/60 in January 1978 was sold for $ 360K including premium by Christie's on October 18, 2007. The number 60/60 is estimated $ 200K for sale by Bonhams in New York on April 6, lot 61.