Jean Louis Marie Eugene Durieu also referred to as Eugene Durieu was one of the early photographers of nudes. Many of Durieu nudes were also used by a French romantic artist by the name of Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix. Eugene Durieu photographed many different poses, angles, of both men and women. Each photograph that was taken by Durieuwas was very diverse, yet all had similarities. The men played more of a muscular role in many of Durieu’s images, you can really notice in each image the men trying to flex or contract their muscles, which is clearly see in their abdominal and bicep area.
It is intriguing to me when viewing these photos that majority of the men are holding some type of spear, it makes me wonder in Durieu was trying to relay some type of message to the viewer. I believe that Durieu is trying to depict a sense of power when incorporating many of these medieval like weapons. During that time period men who would hold these spears would be identified as soldiers, hunters, as opposed to being intellectual scholars. I also noticed that in all of his photographs, he never showed the genital area of women, although he does for the men.
I enjoyed viewing many of Durieu’s photographs, Durieu seems to makes his photographs revealing to the human eye, yet concealing at the same time. There is enough there to show the nude parts of each picture, yet at the same time not enough, only to make the viewer of the image finish the photo. He provides this rare balance in almost all of the pictures he has taken, the many qualities that he incorporates into making these photographs make this up for him. There is a sense of eroticism behind all of Durieu Photographs, each having its own distinctive characteristic and mood. Considering that Durieu was a long time nude photographer, it is possible to see the effect of changing times on the photographs. These photographs still contain many of the fundamentals people incorporate in the recent years of nudity, but times have changed and so have photography. I really enjoyed viewing many of Durieu’s photographs; they gave me more of a general understanding of the time period, and what the culture was like in that era.
Portraying of the body of a human being has been among the major challenges, supreme achievements and preoccupations for artists for centuries. The nude, even in universal or romanticized renderings, has generated heated debates regarding canons of beauty, cultural identity, sexuality and sin particularly when photography is selected as the medium for the depiction, with its innate specificity and precision. The human figure has captivated from various cultural orientations and this fascinated many like Eugene Durieu to venture into nude photography which brought such a magnificent work. Though they have had criticism from various quotas, many of the nude photographs were aimed at artwork. The Eugene Durieu blended with eroticism and exoticism, creating interest among many people to flock into museums to see them. Eugene Durieu was a talented photographer who gave people a reason to watch his photographs. The photographs are entertaining and carry message with them.
Photography: A Culture History 3rd edition: Mary Warner Marien