Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Model Venus: Jeanne Hébuterne (1898-1920) by Albert Rudomine

Jeanne by Rudomine

This subject of this photograph has been identified as Jeanne Hébuterne, the tragic mistress of Modigliani, Oddly, although Modigliani was reputed to have had affairs with most of his nude models he only ever painted Jeanne clothed. None of his pictures of her include any nudes. 

Jeanne by Modigliani

This picture was taken by the Ukrainian-born photographer Albert Rudomine (1892-1975).  His family took him to Paris and then New York but by 1917 (when this picture was believed to have been taken) he was back in Paris where he took up photography, so this would have been a very early example of his work.  In the fifties he famously took pictures of many of Rodin's sculptures in such a way that they looked like flesh and blood.  Rudomine must have deliberately copied Modigliani's cool, clinical style in this portrait.  It is almost the Modigliani painting of his mistress he never did.

Hébuterne committed suicide three years later, following Modigliani's death, killing the unborn child of Modigliani in the process.  Nearly a century after it was taken, Rudomine's photograph of her carries a haunting but erotic charge.

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