New York, Odalisque, Horst P. Horst
Horst P. Horst
New York, Odalisque
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Horst P. Horst

New York, Odalisque, 1943

25.4 x 20.7 cm
Physical Description
Silver Gelatin Print
Inventory Number
Acquired in 2015 as a gift from Manfred Heiting
Not on display


About the Work

The nude model seductively proffers her breast to the viewer, transforming herself into the epitome of the sensuous lady of pleasure. Even in the nineteenth century, erotic pictures such as this were popular subjects for painters like Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Eugène Delacroix, who took as their model for such works reclining nudes of the goddess of love, Venus. Even in those days, the odalisque was an exotic and therefore desirable figure onto whom men could project their fantasies. Horst P. Horst transferred the subject from the Orientalism of the nineteenth century into the twentieth for his extravagant pictorial creations. The soft, feminine curves of the woman contrast with the rigorous, geometric patterns of the tiles. While her face remains half-hidden in shadow, the shape of her body is clearly and succinctly worked out. The photographer lets the flesh tones of his model appear opalescent through the dramatic interplay of light and shadow.

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