Sunday, August 19, 2012

German Nudes: Akt & Die Schonheit 1900 ~ 1930s

Concepts of physical health and beauty associated with Germany and the Weimar years between the two world wars actually started taking shape in the early 19th century. Naturism, nudism, body culture, gymnastics, modern dance and sexual freedom were a substantial part of creative and artistic growth in Germany. Sadly these elements helped fuel the eventual downfall of the Weimar Republic via suppression and censorship of free expression which began with the rise to power of the national socialists, circa 1932. 

Ironically these "liberal" attitudes about the body were eventually embraced by the Third Reich as part of their Arian, ubermensch propaganda. Korperkultur and to a certain degree nudity, became part of the "official" art commissioned for the nazis and displayed in the national art galley in Munich, Haus der Deutschen Kunst.

Posted here are books and periodicals devoted to "nudes and beautiful bodies" which give a glimpse of what was being created circa 1900 to the mid-1930s.

Weibliche Schonheit circa 1905 featuring a marvelous allegorical cover illustration. Idyllic and classical, academic style nudes.

Ideale Nacktheit,1920s. Photographic annuals published by Die Schonheit magazine, featuring photos extracted from previously published issues.

An English language version of volume four.

Two volumes by Dr.Ernst Schertel, a pseudo-scientist, published by his Parthenon Verlag, 1920s. Schertel is most well known for his Flagellantismus series of periodicals.

Ausdruckgymnastik, circa 1923. Exceptional book on modern dance and gymnastics with photographs by Gerhard Riebecke. Prior to Martin Munkasci there were Riebecke's photographs of bodies in motion.

Various books on physical culture, exercise, gymnastics and korperkultur.

On of the books (this one with fold-out photographs in series showing sequential movements/exercises) from the prolific Hans Suren, 1920s.

"Female Beauty" published circa 1938, one of the first books published featuring color photographs of the nude.

Click here for Nudism Naturism in my eBay store

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