RODIN  Nude  Studies - An  academic-Erotic  Photo  Project (INTRO)

The Rodin Nude Photo Project is an ongoing nude study photo project I developed in communication with several art historians, like Prof. Anne-Marie Bonnet of the Art-Historical Institute, Bonn, and Cornelia Wieg, Curator for Sculpture at the Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg, Halle. During a visit to Paris, I also discussed the project with Hélène Pinet, Curator for Photography at the Musée Rodin. As a matter of fact, evaluating this photo project with Museum curators all over the world was the starting point of all later Rodin-Web activities.

The project was initiated in 1992; the end is still open. 
A summary of past activities:

Bibiana at the Musée Rodin making study sketches for our nude photos

Bibiana in photo atelier with Rodin books

Inspired by sculptures and drawings by Auguste Rodin, I produced a series of B/W photos that were later worked out as gum bichromate prints. The pictures were exhibited in public exhibitions, among which the international exhibition "Sculpture in the Light of Photography", organized by the Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Museum.

As models, girls and women from various nationalities volunteered, so exploring their own expression of the erotic. As a sculptor and draftsman, Rodin was primarily inspired by the spontaneous expression of the female nude. 

Trying to reconstruct Rodin´s approach of Art and the human body, we left room for movement and improvisation, instead of attempting to copy the postures mechanically. In my Munich studio, we used Nikon and Mamiya cameras and Elinchrome lighting equipment. From the photo negatives, we had B/W enlargements made, that were retouched and reproduced as large-format negatives of ca. 30 x 40 cm size. These B/W transpararencies were used to create colored prints on normal paper sheets, that were covered with gelatine and then with a solution of arabic gum, various colors and bichromate. 

Nude study with Julika


Study for Désespoir, 
with Julika







Sculpture in the Light of Photography, 
Exhibition 1997


Since this gum solution is light-sensitive, prints can be made by exposing the paper plus the negative to direct sunlight. Afterwards, the exposed paper is "developed" in normal water, for ca. 45 minutes. After the paper has dried, a second and a third exposure are made with other colors, to emphasize lights and shadows. Sometimes, up to seven exposures have to be made, to reach the best result. This means, it can take a whole day till one gum bichromate print is finished. This is the main reason this old artistic technique, developed in the 19th Century, is now very rarely used. Because every bichromate print is made by hand, every image is a unique creation. 

Test shooting with Tiphaine
and a Danaid pedestal

On the next page you will find a selection of the gum prints that were exhibited at the Art-Historical Institute of the Bonn University.

Some images can be enlarged by clicking them.

Sketch for Danaid pose, 
conceived in 1992

Gum print of Danaid pose, realized in 1997




Advanced Search and Search Rules

Advanced Search & Search Rules

Terms of Use  Copyright Policy    Menu missing?  Back one page  Reload this page   Top of this page 

Notice: Museum logos appear only as buttons linking to Museum Websites and do not imply any
formal approval of RODIN-WEB pages by these institutions. For details see Copyright Policy.
© Copyright 1992 - April 2004 for data collection & design by Hans de Roos - All Rights Reserved.
Last update of this page: 20.04.2004