Photographs - 7 of 10

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Standing Female Nude by Gustave Le Gray

Gustave Le Gray
French, 1820-1882
Standing Female Nude
c. 1855
Albumen print from wet-collodion-on-glass negative
29.5 x 21.9 cm
Acquired by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1998

Drawings of nude models played an increasingly important role in art academies and artists' studios in the late nineteenth century. Starting in the 1850s, photographic studies of the nude began to circulate privately and commercially. One of the greatest technical and artistic masters of early French photography, Gustave Le Gray was himself trained as a painter. While he worked in a wide variety of genres, specializing in marine subjects and landscapes, the nude was for Le Gray a subject of the utmost rarity; only three other nude studies by the photographer are known.