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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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NOBUYOSHI ARAKI without title
May 08, 4:00 PM CEST
NOBUYOSHI ARAKI without title
by Fidesarte Italia SRL
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Hand Signed Nobuyoshi Araki (Japanese, 1940-) Polaroid With COA
Apr 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Hand Signed Nobuyoshi Araki (Japanese, 1940-) Polaroid With COA
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NOBUYOSHI ARAKI without title
May 08, 4:00 PM CEST
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Est: €700- €1,000
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Nobuyoshi ARAKI (Né en 1940), D’Après Kinbaku (Bondage)
Apr 27, 2:00 PM CEST
Nobuyoshi ARAKI (Né en 1940), D’Après Kinbaku (Bondage)
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Nude Marilyn Monroe Photo Print
May 11, 2:00 PM EDT
Nude Marilyn Monroe Photo Print
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Est: $40- $80
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Paul Rowland (American, 20th c.) "Nude Fashion Model"
Apr 29, 10:00 AM EDT
Paul Rowland (American, 20th c.) "Nude Fashion Model"
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Man Ray. Sammlung von 8
May 11, 12:00 PM CEST
Man Ray. Sammlung von 8
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Est: €400- €600
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AFTER HERMAN LEONARD (AMERICAN, 1923-2010)
Apr 24, 10:00 AM BST
AFTER HERMAN LEONARD (AMERICAN, 1923-2010)
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Robert Mapplethorpe "White Gauze, 1984" Print
Apr 27, 6:45 AM EDT
Robert Mapplethorpe "White Gauze, 1984" Print
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Est: $400- $800
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HELMUT NEWTON-Hollywood
Apr 27, 6:45 AM EDT
HELMUT NEWTON-Hollywood
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $300- $600
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Portrait of young nude woman with a comb, 1960s, California
May 11, 11:00 AM EDT
Portrait of young nude woman with a comb, 1960s, California
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$201 Bid
Robert Mapplethorpe "Dancing Men" Offset Lithograph
Apr 27, 6:45 AM EDT
Robert Mapplethorpe "Dancing Men" Offset Lithograph
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Est: $400- $800
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PHILIPPE VAN SNICK (1946-2019)
Apr 25, 10:00 AM CEST
PHILIPPE VAN SNICK (1946-2019)
by Bernaerts Auctioneers
Est: €700- €900
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FABRICE SAMYN (°1981)
Apr 25, 10:00 AM CEST
FABRICE SAMYN (°1981)
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Italie, seconde moitié du XIXe siècle. Suite 40 ép…
Apr 28, 2:00 PM CEST
Italie, seconde moitié du XIXe siècle. Suite 40 ép…
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Est: €600- €800
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Szekessy, Karin
May 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Szekessy, Karin
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Est: €140- €200
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Glass Plate Negatives. Glamour/Erotic
Apr 30, 1:00 PM BST
Glass Plate Negatives. Glamour/Erotic
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Est: £20- £40
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Angela Strassheim (American, b. 1969) Untitled (nude in bus), self portrait, 2006
Apr 25, 10:00 AM CDT
Angela Strassheim (American, b. 1969) Untitled (nude in bus), self portrait, 2006
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Rheims, Bettina
May 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Rheims, Bettina
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Est: €9,000- €13,000
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Sellers Who Sell Nude Photography


Nosbüsch & Stucke GmbH

Nosbüsch & Stucke GmbH

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Jeschke Jádi Auctions Berlin GmbH

Jeschke Jádi Auctions Berlin GmbH