Though brought up in a family mostly interested in scientific studies, Thérèse Le Prat, born Thérèse Cahen in 1895 in Pantin, was taught literature and music.
When she divorced the publisher Guillaume Le Prat in the early 1930, he offered her a really good camera, and she started photography. Thanks to her dawning talent and to her knowledge of several languages, she was employed by the Compagnie des Messageries maritimes as a reporter, mainly in Asia, Oceania and Africa.
She stopped her career during the war. When it was over, she married Philippe Stern, a well known specialist of the Far East civilizations, and she definitively devoted her time to portrait: artists, writers and scientist and, most of all, famous people of the stage and dancers posed in her studio as models, serving her quest on faces, according to her inner conception of actors, conception tinged with anxiety and solemnity.
Until her death in 1966, Thérèse Le Prat photographed the actors of approximately 250 plays written by the greatest classical as well as modern authors, developing an approach which, in the last years of her life, brought her work closer to an aesthetic creation where faces, thanks to makeup and lightings, constitute a world of mysterious and indefinitely combining signs.