Loading Spinner

Nude Photography

Photographers began to capture the nude body nearly as soon as images could be fixed on paper. Rendering the nude realistically was long an academic concern in Western art for artists working within painting and drawing, closely associated with a classical appreciation of the body. The advent of photography allowed artists to emphasize form, composition, and emotional content over a realistic treatment of the body.

Despite the academic association, the nude in photography has always sparked controversy and debate. In the early 20th century, Thomas Eakins photographed a wide variety of male body types, from youths engaged in sports to models within studio walls. Though it is clear that Eakins was interested in these subjects as an anatomical exploration, the homoerotic nature of the photographs continues to inspire debate.

More contemporary examples are the conversation raised by Sally Mann's photographs of her children, or Robert Mapplethorpe's sensual depictions of both nude females and males.


Quick Facts

  • Edward Weston was among the first of the straight photographers to abstract the human body in his work. His work was significant for its marriage of abstraction and realism, and this dichotomy is clearly seen within his nudes
  • The nude is common in fashion photography, often bordering on risqué. The German-Australian photographer Hemut Newton celebrated the provocative and erotic in his campaigns for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, and other publications
  • At the turn of the 20th century, Imogen Cunningham first experimented with pictorial photography. Her later work was more direct, especially her nude images of the model Twina Thiebaud. Cunningham was also credited with being the first female photographer to publish nude images of her husband

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

bp parity badge
1928 SILVER GELATIN PHOTOGRAPH LOU GEHRIG, TRIS SPEAKER, TY COBB, AND BABE RUTH
Oct 24, 10:00 AM MST
1928 SILVER GELATIN PHOTOGRAPH LOU GEHRIG, TRIS SPEAKER, TY COBB, AND BABE RUTH
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$23012 Bids
Lot of 20 Misc. Weird, Odd, Strange, Freak, Etc.. Photograph Prints (Nude, Costume, Etc..)
Oct 25, 6:00 PM EDT
Lot of 20 Misc. Weird, Odd, Strange, Freak, Etc.. Photograph Prints (Nude, Costume, Etc..)
by One Source Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$405 Bids
FRENCH JARED (1905 - 1988) From the series "Studio di nudo Tennessee Williams".
Oct 27, 11:00 AM CEST
FRENCH JARED (1905 - 1988) From the series "Studio di nudo Tennessee Williams".
by Capitolium Art
Est: €800- €1,200
€1503 Bids
Newton, Helmut u.a.: 20 Jahre Vogue 1979-1999. Jubiläums-Portfolio
Oct 30, 2:00 PM CEST
Newton, Helmut u.a.: 20 Jahre Vogue 1979-1999. Jubiläums-Portfolio
by Peter Karbstein - Kunst und Auktionshaus
Est: €400- €600
€3001 Bid
Burlesque queen and stripper Tempest Storm signed 8x10 photo, also dubbed "The Queen of Exotic
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
Burlesque queen and stripper Tempest Storm signed 8x10 photo, also dubbed "The Queen of Exotic
by Chaucer Covers & Auctions
Est: £20- £24
£201 Bid
PATRICK DEMARCHELIER - ELLE MACPHERSON, NY, 1990
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
PATRICK DEMARCHELIER - ELLE MACPHERSON, NY, 1990
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
VIK MUNIZ (1961)
Oct 29, 2:30 PM CEST
VIK MUNIZ (1961)
by Fine Art Auctions Paris
Est: €15,000- €20,000
€7,5001 Bid
ANDRE DE DIENES, NUMBER 73, 1960S
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
ANDRE DE DIENES, NUMBER 73, 1960S
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
ANDRE DE DIENES, NUMBER 14, 1960S
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
ANDRE DE DIENES, NUMBER 14, 1960S
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
ANDRE DE DIENES, NUMBER 10, 1960S
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
ANDRE DE DIENES, NUMBER 10, 1960S
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
PATRICK DEMARCHELIER - NUDE, NEW YORK, 1975
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
PATRICK DEMARCHELIER - NUDE, NEW YORK, 1975
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
JEANLOUP SIEFF - NUDE TORSOS: TIERNEY, PARIS, 1986
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
JEANLOUP SIEFF - NUDE TORSOS: TIERNEY, PARIS, 1986
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
RICHARD AVEDON - KRISTINA, IRINA AND TATIANA Z., 1997
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
RICHARD AVEDON - KRISTINA, IRINA AND TATIANA Z., 1997
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
HERB RITTS - STEPHANIE WITH BARBEQUE, 1991
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
HERB RITTS - STEPHANIE WITH BARBEQUE, 1991
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
ANDRE DE DIENES, NUMBER 29, 1960S
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
ANDRE DE DIENES, NUMBER 29, 1960S
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
PATRICK DEMARCHELIER - NADJA AUERMANN, PARIS, 1994
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
PATRICK DEMARCHELIER - NADJA AUERMANN, PARIS, 1994
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
JEANLOUP SIEFF, NUDE ON STAIRS PARIS 1987
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
JEANLOUP SIEFF, NUDE ON STAIRS PARIS 1987
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
BERT STERN "MARILYN MONROE THE LAST SITTING - 1962"
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
BERT STERN "MARILYN MONROE THE LAST SITTING - 1962"
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
NITSCH HERMANN (n. 1938) Action 45. Naples 1974.
Oct 27, 11:00 AM CEST
NITSCH HERMANN (n. 1938) Action 45. Naples 1974.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €1,500- €2,500
€501 Bid
007 Bond girl Lana Wood signed photo, desirable image of her naked in the shower. Good condition.
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
007 Bond girl Lana Wood signed photo, desirable image of her naked in the shower. Good condition.
by Chaucer Covers & Auctions
Est: £14- £20
£141 Bid
ELLEN VON UNWERTH - SMOKY NADJA, PARIS, 1991
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
ELLEN VON UNWERTH - SMOKY NADJA, PARIS, 1991
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Helmut Newton SIGNED Book & Philippe Starck Stand
Nov 17, 12:00 PM EST
Helmut Newton SIGNED Book & Philippe Starck Stand
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Nude Photography


Luxury Fine Arts

Luxury Fine Arts

KCM Galleries

KCM Galleries

Historia Auktionshaus

Historia Auktionshaus

Expertisez.com

Expertisez.com