A Book of Books of Nudes – Livres de Nus

A new book edited and authored by Allesandro Bertolotti has just been published in France by Éditions de La Martinière. An excellent anthology of books of nudes and beautifully produced, it lists both Cowboy Kate (1964) and November Girl (1967). The book sadly has some notable omissions to its list of artists, not least of all the great nude images produced by Irving Penn.

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Here are some excerpts from the text and further below images from the layout shown above. Please note that the Cowboy Kate cover and spreads are taken from the latest 2006 edition, not the first edition reproduced in ‘Livres du Nus’.

Cowboy Kate

Sam Haskins, originally from South Africa, is the most gifted photographer of nudes of his generation.

In the process of transforming an erotic narrative into a Western and in order to get total control of the images, he produced almost every image in the studio.

Cowboy Kate is a triumph of rhythm and narrative drama.

November Girl

In another book, November Girl (1967), Haskins dealt with the challenge of representing love, specifically a girl mourning her absent lover. Despite understanding that she will never see him again, she nonetheless decides to wait for him.

Rarely has a photographic book been able to render a stream of human consciousness in such a skilful way. The book is a tribute to the power of love.

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