"A CENTRAL THEME OF PHOTOGRAPHY": SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF MASCLET'S NUS, LA BEAUTÉ DE LA FEMME, 1933, WITH 96 NUDE STUDIES BY MAN RAY, MOHOLY-NAGY, DRTIKOL AND OTHERS
MASCLET, Daniel. Nus. La beauté de la femme. Paris: Daniel Masclet, (1933). Quarto, original cream stiff paper wrappers. $1500.
First edition of the influential collection of female nudes assembled by French photographer Masclet to commemorate the landmark 1933 Paris International Salon of Nude Photography, with 96 rich full-page heliogravures, including Man Ray's "Violon d'Ingres" and "Solarisation," along with images by Moholy-Nagy, Frantisek Drtikol, Emil Hoppé, Pierre Boucher, Maurice Beck, Jean Moral and others. Scarce in original wrappers.
"The depiction of the human being was a central theme of photography during a period of social change" in the early 1930s (Open Book, 15). Masclet's innovative volume of 96 female nudes highlights the work of figures such as Man Ray, "the main Surrealist photographer" (Parr & Badger I:87), seen here in his "Violon d'Ingres," and "Solarisation," the latter featured one year later in Man Ray Photographs 1920-1934. Also included is the artistry of Moholy-Nagy and Pierre Boucher, along with five images by Czech photographer Frantisek Drtikol, whose nude studies "prefigured and influenced the emerging Bauhaus aesthetic" (Roth, 64). Additional full-page heliogravures after Vogue's Maurice Beck and Life's Andreas Feininger, Emile Hoppé, Jean Moral, Bruno Schultz and numerous others. Published to commemorate the first International Salon of Nude Photography in Paris,1933, and edited by exhibit curator Daniel Masclet, "a major figure on the European photographic scene" (Lenman, 395). First edition, published in wrappers only, with original cord binding; without dust jacket as issued.
Images fine, small ink mark to margin of one page without affecting plate; some soiling to original wrappers, loss to spine ends. An extremely good copy of a highly desirable European photobook.