An image of Nude study

Cecil Bostock

(Australia 1884 – 1939)

Nude study, from the album A portfolio of art photographs

Location
Not on display
Further information

Bostock had a reputation as a testy and independent character. Although he was a key figure among the Sydney pictorialists, he never believed himself bound by their conventions. His images are characteristically austere and crisp. No doubt with some of his colleagues in mind, he once wrote ‘fuzziness is not necessarily art’.1 ‘Nude study’ is typical of his particular style of ‘straight photography’. Against the advice of experts, who wrote that ‘a more frontal lighting reveals far more subtly than does the side light, which leaves the face half hidden in the shadow’, he has deliberately broken the rules to produce one of the most memorable nude studies by an Australian pictorialist.2 Bostock and Cazneaux had the keenest sense of design among their photographic contemporaries. Bostock designed the logo for the Sydney Camera Circle and produced publications for the Australian salon of photography in 1924 and 1926. His preference for simple, graphic design is apparent in this photograph, as it is in his later semi-abstract studies.

1. Bostock C 1921, ‘Australian landscape and some notes on composition’, ‘Australasian Photo-Review’, 15 Jan p 12
2. Tilney F C 1930, ‘The principles of photographic pictorialism’, Chapman & Hall, London p 86

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007

Year
1917
Media
Photograph, Album
Medium
gelatin silver photograph
Dimensions
15.7 x 11.2 cm image/sheet
Signature & date

Signed l.r. leaf 6, pencil "C.W Bostock". Signed label inside front cover, pencil "...Cecil W Bostock". Not dated.

Credit
Gift of Mrs Eleanor Morris 1977
Accession number
163.1977.6