The "etude" or study grew out of the earliest days of photography when artists in need of models turned to the camera's art to provide a figure that would not tire, not move or need to be paid. Essentially a dependable model at any hour of the day or night. In France in the 1860s a number of photographers turned this need of artists into a business, creating catalogues of images referred to as "academic nudes" which most often copied posing established by "classical art" especially sculptures of the Greeks and Italians.
The group of images posted were a move away from classical posing, created to stimulate different senses. Nonetheless these more suggestive images from the late 1870s to the 1890s are grounded in the formalness of those earlier academic figure studies. Photographs are either albumin or gelatin printing-out-paper emulsions mounted to standard size cabinet cards measuring approx. 4.24" x 5.5". Three of the four images (at the bottom and moving up) have been subtly hand-tinted.
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