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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

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BRUCE WEBER, UNTITLED, 1988
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
BRUCE WEBER, UNTITLED, 1988
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$3006 Bids
RUTH BERNHARD, SAND DUNE, 1967
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
RUTH BERNHARD, SAND DUNE, 1967
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$4005 Bids
TAMOTSU YATO, MALE NUDE JAPAN MUSCLE, 1960S
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
TAMOTSU YATO, MALE NUDE JAPAN MUSCLE, 1960S
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2254 Bids
HELMUT NEWTON - HOLLANDAISE MONTE CARLO 1994
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
HELMUT NEWTON - HOLLANDAISE MONTE CARLO 1994
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1303 Bids
LUCIEN CLERGUE, NUDE WOMAN BUTT OCEAN WAVE 1960'S
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
LUCIEN CLERGUE, NUDE WOMAN BUTT OCEAN WAVE 1960'S
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2503 Bids
ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE, LYDIA CHENG, 1985
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE, LYDIA CHENG, 1985
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2252 Bids
Jock Sturges, photograph- Hand signed -numbered
Dec 11, 10:15 PM CET
Jock Sturges, photograph- Hand signed -numbered
by Novartia
Est: €1,000- €1,200
€102 Bids
Nobuyoshi Araki (Japanese, b. 1940)
Dec 08, 11:00 AM CST
Nobuyoshi Araki (Japanese, b. 1940)
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5002 Bids
John Dugdale (American, b. 1960), "Young Man with Lifted Leg"
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
John Dugdale (American, b. 1960), "Young Man with Lifted Leg"
by Fontaine's Auction Gallery
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$8502 Bids
Peter Stackpole (American, 1913-1997), "2nd Marine Division, Saipan"
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Peter Stackpole (American, 1913-1997), "2nd Marine Division, Saipan"
by Fontaine's Auction Gallery
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,6002 Bids
BRUCE WEBER, UNTITLED, 1988
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
BRUCE WEBER, UNTITLED, 1988
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1002 Bids
Artistic Nudes
Dec 02, 11:00 AM AEDT
Artistic Nudes
by Sydney Rare Book Auctions
Est: AUD50- AUD80
AUD402 Bids
BRUCE WEBER, UNTITLED, 1988
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
BRUCE WEBER, UNTITLED, 1988
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1002 Bids
TAMOTSU YATO, JAPAN SURREAL SEMI NUDE MALE, 1960'S
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
TAMOTSU YATO, JAPAN SURREAL SEMI NUDE MALE, 1960'S
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
JOHN RAWLINGS, NUDE WOMAN
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
JOHN RAWLINGS, NUDE WOMAN
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
VIVIAN MAIER, SWIMMING
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
VIVIAN MAIER, SWIMMING
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
HELMUT NEWTON - SMOKING NUDE, BEVERLY HILLS, 1991
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
HELMUT NEWTON - SMOKING NUDE, BEVERLY HILLS, 1991
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
LUCIEN CLERGUE - NUDE WOMAN BREAST, 1960S
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
LUCIEN CLERGUE - NUDE WOMAN BREAST, 1960S
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
HELMUT NEWTON - NATASSIA KINSKI, HOLLYWOOD, 1983
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
HELMUT NEWTON - NATASSIA KINSKI, HOLLYWOOD, 1983
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
BRETT WESTON, UNDERWATER NUDE, 1981
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
BRETT WESTON, UNDERWATER NUDE, 1981
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
LUCIEN CLERGUE, FEMALE NUDE WET BODY, 1960'S
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
LUCIEN CLERGUE, FEMALE NUDE WET BODY, 1960'S
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
LUCIEN CLERGUE, FEMALE NUDE WOMAN WATER WAVE, 1960'S
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
LUCIEN CLERGUE, FEMALE NUDE WOMAN WATER WAVE, 1960'S
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
TAMOTSU YATO, JAPANESE SEMI NUDE MALE PHYSIQUE, 1960S
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
TAMOTSU YATO, JAPANESE SEMI NUDE MALE PHYSIQUE, 1960S
by White Knight Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Nude Photography


White Knight Auctions

White Knight Auctions

Artelisted

Artelisted

Galerie Bassenge

Galerie Bassenge

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden