Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Masterpieces of Art Deco Photography"

This blog contains nude photographs that are non-purient and of historical importance. Nevertheless, if you are bothered by the nude human body you should go elsewhere.

Friends, John and Teresa Kirkpatrick, gave me a folder called "Nus" in the early 1980s. It was a folder containing 95 lithographic prints from the photographs of Laryeau, photographs that Laryeau took during the early 1920s. He lived from 1863 to 1935. Laryeau was his pseudonym; his real name being Stanislaw Julian Ignacy, Count Ostrorog. I think, as it was his wish, that we, for our purposes here, refer to him as Laryeau.

His family was Polish, British and French. It was in Paris about 1923 that he undertook to create a series of nudes using women from the Follies Bergere as his subjects.

The lithographic prints that I have are now sold by reputable, indeed famous, galleries in Europe and the United States. A few have recently made their way on to e-bay as well. The title for this blog is taken from one of the gallery promotions which described the photographs as " now recognized as masterpieces of Art Deco photography." I concur and that is the reason for presenting several of the photographs below.

My digitally copied images -- using a hand-held point and shoot camera -- may fail in certain respects to be as beautiful as the originals, but they are nevertheless stunning, and important, images that the viewer is sure to enjoy. A close viewing will reveal the lush settings that he created in his studio for this project, draped fabrics, plush rugs, and in several settings what appear to be appropriations from Cubism which was growing in popularity at the time. In a few instances I have provided an additional photo-detail of the original; this is done to emphasize the exceptional care he used, for example, in the arrangement of fingers -- small things that are the mark of the artist.

Laryew was known as an important photographer for the rich and aristocratic in Paris at the time these photos were taken. In 2005 the National Art Gallery in England exhibited both father and son (Laryew) under the title: "Victorian Women." None of the 100 images in "Nus" were shown. Editions of "Nus" are said to be rare and the number, or size, of the edition is unknown.