Gilman Collection, Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Kravis Gift, 2005
Not on view
Durieu was a lawyer and early advocate and practitioner of photography in France who, in 1853–54, made a series of photographic studies of nude and costumed figures as models for artists. The French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix helped him pose the figures and later praised the prints, from which he sketched, as "palpable demonstrations of the free design of nature." While the painter saw the accurate transcription of reality as a virtue of photography, Durieu knew that a good photograph was not simply the result of the correct use of the medium but, more significantly, an expression of the photographer’s temperament and vision. In an important article he emphasized the interpretative nature of the complex manipulations in photography and explained that the photographer must previsualize his results so as to make a "picture," not just a "copy." This photograph proves Durieu’s point: through the elegant contours of the drapery, the smooth modeling of the flesh, and the grace and restraint of the pose, the picture attains an artistic poise that combines Delacroix’s sensuality with Ingres’s classicism, and rivals both.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount, TR: "1"
[Daniel Wolf, New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, December 23, 1982
Daniel Wolf Gallery. "The Last Show," January 1, 1987–January 31, 1987.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.
Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth Century Portraits, Landscapes, and Nudes," September 10, 1993–January 2, 1994.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Naked before the Camera," March 27, 2012–September 9, 2012.
Daval, Jean-Luc. Photography, history of an art. New York: Skira , 1982. p. 8.
Delacroix et la photographie. Herscher ed. Paris: Editions Herscher, 1982. p. 83.
Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 23.
Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. pl. 62.
Aubenas, Sylvie. L'Art du nu au XIXe Siècle: Le Photographe et Son Modèle. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1997. p. 93.