For many photographers, nude photography is a study of the human body, much like some paintings did. Photographing a named person is called portraiture. Nude photography focuses on showing the human body, and often the face is not visible.
In general, nude photography is a planned image, not a snapshot. Nude photography wants to show a stylised depiction of the human body. Photographers sometimes use extremes of light and shadow, oiled skin, and shadows falling across the body to show the texture and structure of the body.
Early photographers often showed the nudity of women like the one we see here by Félix-Jacques Moulin. Many, like Edward Weston, Jean-Christophe Destailleur, Augustao de Luca, Ruth Bernhard and Jerry Avenaim, preferred to show the lines of a body as a piece of art. They used the terms art nude and figurenude from painting to avoid suggestions that their works were meant to be erotica or pornography.
- Lewinski, Jorge (1987). The naked and the nude: a history of the nude in photographs, 1839 to the present. Harmony. ISBN 978-0-517-56683-1.
- There are portraits for which the name of the sitter is not known. They are still called portraits, because the artist's clear intention was to paint or photograph a particular individual person.
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