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Clothing alters the image and likeness of God possessed by people. At least Medieval friars were quite sure about that. Susan Haskins in Mary Magdalen: myth and metaphor (Riverhead Books, New York, 1993) mentions Augustine of Hippo, a Latin church father, who fought with vanity considered as one of the forms of the sin of pride. Women who donned their finery, and wore cosmetics were very unpopular in the Middle Ages, since expensive dresses and makeup were placed on the same footing as “idols and masks”.

It seems that Tertullian, an early Christian author, was the first to touch the subject. He opposed those who presumed to alter the work of the Creator – the body – with paints and the dyeing of hair were in fact criticising their Maker, and subverting Nature, which had been created by God, the “artificer of all things.”

That which He Himself has not produced is not pleasing to God, unless He was unable to order sheep to be born with purple and sky-blue fleeces! If He was able, then plainly He was unwilling: what God willed not, of course ought not to be fashioned. Those things, then, are not the best by nature which are not from God, the Author of nature. Thus they are understood to be from the devil, from the corrupter of nature… (On the Apparel of Women. Book I)

Of course, Tertullian didn’t stand for nudity, the state in which, according to the same logic, God ordered people to be born. He recommended the garb of penitence as a style of dress that should remind the Christian woman that the sin was introduced through her ancestress, Eve. Imagine what such a world would look like. Fortunately, we live in more tolerant times, don’t we?

Woman holding sign reading "?"

Woman holding sign reading "?" Washington, D.C., 1922

I’ve discovered (not a big discovery though) that so often photographs when turning into something called “desktop wallpapers” lose all connections with their authors. Of course, such great sources of beautiful and artistic desktop wallpapers as InterfaceLIFT, for instance, fully respect photographers and their rights. But there are some exceptions.

Recently, I’ve found nice and poetic images of unknown photographer. I saw his pictures on different sites (for example, link1, link2, link3, link4 – sometimes with inappropriate comments of the visitors), but couldn’t find any information about the photographer and about the source from which the images were taken. Fortunately, some EXIF information with the line “Artist: Funstyle Chu” survived in one of the photos and after some googling I ended at Funstyle’s photostream on Flickr.

Funstyle is from Taipei, Taiwan. The images below are from his White Waltz & black fruit obsession – a set on Flickr (translated automatically by Google Translator 🙂 – I don’t speak Chinese). The model’s name is Mikako (if I understand correctly).

果子 by Funstyle on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

果子 by Funstyle on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

果子 by Funstyle on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

果子 by Funstyle on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The photostream (445 visitors daily on average) contains dozens of well-made photographs.

Links:
Flickr: Funstyle
Flickr: Funstyle’s photostream
2009.08.23 White Waltz & black fruit obsession – a set on Flickr

Today I’ll write a few words about Jean-Léon Gérôme. His painting “The Slave Market in Rome (Slave Auction)” was used as an illustration in my previous post. Jean-Léon Gérôme (Vésoul, Haute-Saône, May 11, 1824 – Paris, January 10, 1904) was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as Academism. The range of his works included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects. Academic art is the art and artists influenced by the standards of the French Académie des beaux-arts.

The following painting is described as complex self-portrait being a summation of Gérôme’s remarkable career as both painter and sculptor. It is also a commemoration of his famous sculpture Tanagra (1890, Musée d’Orsay, Paris), a stately nude personification of the ancient Greek city.

Working in Marble, or The Artist Sculpting Tanagra by Jean-Léon  Gérôme (1890)

Working in Marble, or The Artist Sculpting Tanagra by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1890)

Below there’s a small selection of paintings by Jean-Léon Gérôme. Painting studio (a “splendid room, with its great sculptures and paintings, some still unfinished, and a famous collection of barbaric arms and costumesaccording to a contemporary), oriental motives, imaginative representations of slave market seem constant subjects of his art.

The End of the Sitting by Jean-Léon Gérôme

The End of the Sitting by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1886)

Bethsabée by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1889 or ca 1895 ?)

Bethsabée by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1889 or ca 1895 ?)

Selling Slaves in Rome by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1886)

Selling Slaves in Rome by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1886)

On this photo one can see the painter and sculptor with his model photographed on the occasion of Salon 1887.

Omphale statue presented at the Salon in 1887: Jean-Léon Gérôme  with his model

Omphale statue presented at the Salon in 1887: Jean-Léon Gérôme with his model

Links
1. Jean-Léon Gérôme – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2. Jean-Leon Gerome Online
3. Jean-Léon Gérôme – The complete works
4. History of Art: Neoclassicism and Romanticism – Jean-Leon Gerome
5. Historia del Arte Erótico: Jean-Léon Gérôme
6. Orientalist Art: Jean-Leon Gerome Paintings

For the first time I took note of Kate Love when discovered Dan West Sublime-Nudes on deviantART. The image I liked the most was called Mountain Kitty Kat. It brings the wonderful feeling of the warm summer, wildflowers, deep and clear sky, life in harmony with nature.

Mountain Kitty Kat by sublime-nudes on deviantART

Mountain Kitty Kat by sublime-nudes on deviantART

Kate Love is currently based out of Athens, Greece. She describes herself as

an artistic nude model and self-portrait artist born and raised in San Francisco.

So it isn’t surprising that her gallery on deviantART consists of two sections, Nudes – Modeling and Self portraits. The first one includes some impressive works of photographic art,

Resentment by katlove on deviantART, Photographer: Ken Chen

Resentment by katlove on deviantART, Photographer: Ken Chen

the latter features the brilliant art photographs that, as one might think, allow a glimpse into the soul and personal life of the model and photographer.

Settle by katlove on deviantART, Self portrait

Settle by katlove on deviantART, Self portrait

Links:
1. sublime-nudes on deviantART
2. Dan West Nudes
3. katlove on deviantART
4. katelove’s Nude Self Portraits on deviantART
5. Kat Love . Model . Self Portrait Artist

<…> the revitalizing force of Platonic ideas helped to liberate art. The Renaissance sees a revival of Platonic (Platonistic) philosophizing about beauty <…> The aim of art is beauty; and beauty is itself a value of harmonious proportion, brought down from the cosmos to art. (Philosophies of art and beauty: selected readings in aesthetics from Plato to Heidegger by A. Hofstadter and R. F. Kuhns)

In today’s photo column I would like to present the image by Wendy Slattery (Evil_Elliot on Flickr) from Birkenhead, England.

Nude Art Model Reclining by Wendy Slattery

Nude Art Model Reclining by Wendy Slattery

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. You are free: to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work…

Links:
1. Evil_Elliot’s photostream on Flickr
2. reclining nude | Flickr – Photo Sharing!
3. Nude Art Model Reclining – Wikimedia Commons
4. Photographie/Thèmes/Le nu – Wikibooks

As I’ve written in my previous post, I’d like to start a regular column in my blog. It will appear regularly (I hope so) – once a week, at weekend. Just one or two images, short information, links. Nothing more.

Concerning copyrights and rights of use. If an author of a photo is a Flickr or deviantART member and allows other members of the community (as myself) to add their photos to blogs, I’ll view it as a permission to add their photos to this particular blog. In the case of any misunderstanding, the images will be removed at the request of their author(s). I hope to direct those interested in the works represented in this column to the sites and galleries of the photographers.

This pilot issue represents the self-portraits by Arunima McNeish. I’ve discovered her photostream on Flickr recently. Here are a few of her photos. Taken with a Polaroid i737.

pinned (inside a sweater) by arunima.maria on Flickr

pinned (inside a sweater) by arunima.maria on Flickr

saucey seductions by arunima.maria on Flickr

saucey seductions by arunima.maria on Flickr

arunima.maria  / Arunima McNeish is a model and photographer from Ontario, Canada.

She writes in her profile on Flickr

I also do a little of my own photography- mostly self-portraiture. Sadly, I only have a $50 camera I bought from Walmart a while back, so I am rather limited in quality. I do however, have a bajillion ideas constantly running through my head, for beautiful/powerful/thought-provoking images and otherwise, and hopefully can live out and share many of them with the universe.

Links:
arunima.maria’s photostream on Flickr

In my previous post I’ve already mentioned the image donation from the German photography archives Deutsche Fotothek to Wikimedia Commons. The East German photography is less known than western, but the works of real masters are worth to be discovered.

Recently, I’ve found out for myself the photographic art of Roger and Renate Rössing. According to Wikipedia, Roger Rössing (1929-2006) was one of the most famous photographers in eastern Germany. Renate (1929-2005) met Roger Rössing at the photographic classes of School of Visual Arts in Leipzig they attended between 1948 and 1951. Together they have published about 90 picture books.

Renate und Roger Rössing mit einem Freund während einer Filmszene

Renate und Roger Rössing mit einem Freund während einer Filmszene

In 1952 they took a series of photographs devoted to Nacktkultur which drew my attention by their old fashioned and conservative style. It was the time when naturism began expanding in East Germany. But only since the 1970s the nude bathing in lakes and the Baltic Sea became widespread.

Badende

Badende

One can discover the photographs taken by Roger and Renate Rössing here.