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Naked Women: The Female Nude in Photography from 1850 to the Present Day Paperback – 8 Oct 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press (8 Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560253363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560253365
  • Product Dimensions: 28.1 x 21.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,109,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Mar 2002
Format: Paperback
What a brilliant book. This book brings together some absolutely timeless photos along with some new ones too. Tells you the stories behind the photos and sometimes behind the photographer too.
Very interesting and truly inspirational.
Highly recommended
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Mar 2002
Format: Paperback
Although on the surface this ppears to be a promising book once you delve into it your hopes fade. Basically just a series of average photos's with a short narrative on the story behind each picture. Most of the pictures I've seen elsewhere in other books. There's not much that's new. I was hoping for a book that would give fresh ideas for my own photography. I was sadly dispapointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
The naked truth about Naked Women! 17 Jan 2002
By Bill W. Dalton - Published on
Format: Paperback
To start with, you can disregard the editorial review above. It's so
inaccurate it might be talking about another book altogether!
Many of the photographers it mentions -- Angel Baccassino,
Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Larry
Clarke, Peter Lindbergh, Irving Penn, Steven Meisel, Herb Ritts,
and Mario Testino -- are NOT represented in this book! But the
others mentioned are here. And many more, too. Most of them
are unfamiliar to me, but I haven't followed the photographic
scene in a long time, so it's no reflection on then that I've never
heard of them. Some of the great ones I do remember are here,
such as Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, Eadweard Muybridge,
Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray, Bill Brandt, Eugene Atget, Imogen
Cunningham, and Brassai.
Having tried my hand at photographing the female nude some
years back, I know it's not as easy as one might think to get good,
professional, artistic results. One needs more than a naked woman
and a camera! One needs some inspiration, intuition, creativity,
and rapport with the subject or the most expensive equipment and
the most shapely woman won't achieve much but vapid,
amateurish, or lewd photos. My own limited attempt at the genre
was interesting and enjoyable, but I knew I had no talent for it. So
I can respect even more the really great photographers who have
mastered this difficult art form.
The photographs here range from 19th century pictorialism to 21st
century modern abstract. Some of them are really striking, such as
Paul Murphy's topless portrait of a 70 year old woman posing like
a glamour girl, her drawn and weathered face and arms in stark
contrast to her remarkably young-looking smooth breasts! And
Jan Zwart's study of two women, a Moslem and a Westerner, with
the Moslem woman covered from head to toe in a Burka with only
her eyes showing, and the Western woman completely naked
except that her eyes are covered! An interesting, ironic comment
on two distinctly different cultures. Jemima Stehli's self-portrait
with her nude model is also good, but it would have had more
impact if she, too, had been nude. Lewis Morley's demure nude
portrait of Christine Keeler, the woman who brought down the
British government in 1963 with the Profumo scandal, belies the
tumult she once caused. She looks like an innocent school-girl
here. And John Knill's photo titled simply "Bottom" is just that --
a large image of a very impressive, curvaceous female bottom.
This book is for adults only. Some of the images are quite
graphic. Some are just ugly and others grotesque. A few are so
abstract that the subject, a nude, is unrecognizable as such. So it
pretty much covers the whole spectrum of nude photography as an
art form. I recommend it to all fans of the female form in
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I was pleased with this purchase 26 Feb 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like the format of this book - one page with a large photo, the opposite page with the bio about the photographer and some information about the chosen work. It's a heavy book and of good quality, and the photos range from abstract to classic to fetish and everything in between. Some you have seen before, a lot are by new names and pics. I think it is a great companion to the Male version - "Exposed".
My only question is that is doesn't really seem to be any "history" - just a collection of good photos from a wide time range - think perhaps the title makes it seem something it is not.
I liked the book and have it on my coffee table.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Women - Not just the ones you expected. 17 Dec 2004
By wiredweird - Published on
Format: Paperback
As the editor points out in the intro, "nude" usually means "nude European female 20-ish, and probably thin."

This book does a lot better. Yes, the subjects are mostly or all nude, and yes they're all women. No, they are not all Anglo, as Phan, Sullivan, and Torcello show. No, they are not all young adults, as Murphy and Kander show. No, they are not all thin, as Glover, Casanave, and Perotte show.

Yes, they are fully functioning women, as O'Sullivan and Fink show, with surprising tributes to physical motherhood. And yes, the female shape is a wonderful thing, simply as a shape, as Carnegie, Lategan, and others show - whatever it is they show.

These pictures give much to think about. Saudek's "Ballerine" proves that age strikes different parts of a woman differently. Look at this portrait again, but not the face, to see what I mean - youth lasts a lot longer than you might think. Go back to Braham's Flower and allow yourself a giggle before you even see where the humor lies. Go all the way forward to Zeschin's contribution, and see why 'bigger is better' just isn't true. Not false, surely, but not true.

The book is organized alphabetically by the working name (not necessarily the born name) of the photographer. In other words, it is utterly random with respect to dates, style, subject, technique, or any other aspect of the images themselves. This emphasizes the photos, the individual women, and the spectrum of womanhood. Still, it leaves me hanging in some intellectual sense - is there some underlying order that I've missed, or is it my job to impose my own order?

I am passionate about women's beauty, as is the editor. Whatever you may have thought, this is a clearly non-erotic view of womanhood, in most cases. Being bare, even being fully sexually functional, are different from being erotic.

-- wiredweird
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Fascinating History of Changing Tastes... 12 Sep 2005
By Benjamin J Burgraff - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The female nude has been a favorite subject of photographers since the invention of the camera, and "Naked Women" is as much a statement of evolving tastes in photography, as what is defined as 'feminine beauty'. From the chubby, unabashedly provocative 19th century "French Postcard" prostitutes, who appear patently stagey and surprisingly innocent, today, a metamorphosis occurs over the years, as maturity, technological innovations, and changing mores redefines artistic goals, and this volume offers surprising, often fascinating, if sometimes disturbing definitions of the female form.

From stark, high contrast black and white to soft-focus color, from explorations of a nude in purely geometric terms, to images soft and personal, from the naive innocence of childhood to the surprising candor of age, this is a history that comes alive with each image. It is not a book for everyone; many images are not 'pretty pictures', but one must applaud Phil Braham for offering as comprehensive a one-volume history as is likely to be found.

It should be in every photographic enthusiast's collection!
18 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Big Title, small book 2 Feb 2002
By D. Johnson - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is yet another random catalog of pictures of naked women. The authors make no point other than to identify the photographer. Some of these pictures are good, some are bad, some are boring, most are utterly unimportant silly testimonials to the authors' pedestrian taste.
It is what you should expect from a title that equates naked with nude.
I'd also repeat that the "Editorial Review" seems to be about a different book.
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