A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

The Naked And The Veiled
Saturday, November 08, 2014


Paris - 1937, 38

As we progress into this century in my field of photography I have found that there are few photographers left from that old guard (as I call it) who had or have an identifiable style.

One of my faves was German fashion photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, 1897 –1969. Perhaps he is not as famous as Helmut Newton or others who shot nudes. Perhaps it is because Blumenfeld’s photographs were more internal and any eroticism was subtle.


Self-portrait, Zandvoort, Holland c.1930
 I have a fondness for his book The Naked and the Veiled – The Photographic Nudes of Erwin Blumenfeld because the author is his son Yorick Blumenfeld who writes beautifully on how his father was motivated to take those elegant b+w (and colour) nudes that involve veils, mirrors and distortion.

Of his veiled nudes his son writes:

He claimed that his enduring obsession with transparency and veils was born when at age nine, he was taken by a governess to visit the studio of a Berlin painter. The model surprised by their entrance, quickly threw a diaphanous cloth over herself. But the outline of her body was still visible against the light. Later in his teenage years, the thin suggestive veils employed by such admired painters as Memling, Cranach and Botticelli made Blumenfeld realize that the naked woman could become ‘even more naked by their  transparent veils.’

I found this interesting too:


The sleazy romanticism of the Berlin garment industry, in which Blumenfeld was forced to work after his father had died of tertiary syphilis in 1913, held no appeal to him. In his autobiography, he describes the furtive trysts of his bosses in voyeuristic detail. From his experiences in ladies’ fashion, however, he learned to distinguish between fabrics, and discovered the ways in which a woman’s form changed under silk, tulle, muslin and gauze. This knowledge would reveal itself later in the intensity of his focus on the quality of fabric in his fashion photographs, as well as his nude studies, such as his famous Nude under Wet Silk (1938).

 
Danielle c.2001 - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward


Danielle - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward


Danielle - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Danielle - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward






     

Previous Posts
The Right Equipment

Remembrance Day - One For Two

Lavinia Norcross Dickinson

Dana Moreno López - Self Portraits - Not Selfies

That Damn Hedge Again Electrically

Paul St. Pierre - 1923 -2014 - This Was Not My Ide...

Honest Politicians

No Eggs! No Eggs!

The Metamorphosis of Death & Kissed

Meg Roe Laughs



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2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17