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Nude study, from the album A portfolio of art photographs



Cecil Bostock


1884 – 1939

  • Details

    Media categories
    Photograph , Album
    Materials used
    gelatin silver photograph
    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.

    Gift of Mrs Eleanor Morris 1977
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Cecil Bostock

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 5 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 7 publications

Other works by Cecil Bostock

See all 48 works