Exhibitions/ Art Object

[Seated Female Nude]

Unknown (French)
ca. 1850
9.1 x 6.9 cm (3 9/16 x 2 11/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
This daguerreotype was surely intended to serve artistic purposes, but the odd twist of the body and the strange relationship of the three visible limbs seem to render it inappropriate for artistic emulation. Such tension between an artistic ideal and realistic means—between the classicism of an academic pose and the awkwardness of the camera’s rendering of human movement—seems emblematic of the dilemma faced by the nascent medium striving to be an art.
[Oltremare S.A.]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, June 5, 1990

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