“BEAUTIFULLY COMPOSED, LIKE REMBRANDT OR GOYA”: VINTAGE GELATIN SILVER PRINT OF W. EUGENE SMITH’S PAINTING, NUDE, FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S PRIVATE COLLECTION
SMITH, W. Eugene. Hitachi, Ltd.—Photograph. Painting, Nude. No place, circa 1961. Vintage gelatin silver print (measures 14 by 11), matted (total measures 20 by 16 inches), Smith’s estate inkstamp on print verso, label on mat verso. $3200.
Vintage gelatin silver print from the estate of W. Eugene Smith, his evocative image of the painting of a nude taken in Japan circa 1961. This print with Smith’s estate inkstamp on the verso was featured in a highly praised 1996 New York gallery exhibit.
In celebrating the work of W. Eugene Smith, Lincoln Kirstein once spoke of Smith’s photographs as “beautifully composed, like Rembrandt or Goya” (W. Eugene Smith). This haunting image of a painting, photographed by Smith while working in Japan in the early 1960s, reveals a figure with a camera emerging from the shadowy form of a nude woman. The painting’s complex beauty quietly evokes Smith’s own artistry, in which his chiaroscuro lighting and formal mastery offer “no shadow totally devoid of detail” (Hughes, W. Eugene Smith, 7). Print with inkstamp on the verso reading “Photograph by W. Eugene Smith: This authenticated photograph was in the private collection of W. Eugene Smith at the time of his death—October 15, 1978.” Mat with small label on verso from New York’s Lowinsky Gallery, which displayed this print and others from the estate in a 1996 exhibit.
A fine print.