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Books of Nudes Hardcover – December 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams; First Edition edition (December 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810994445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810994447
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,090,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Italian television producer and photographer Bertolotti has amassed one of the world's largest book collections devoted to nude photography; in this anthology of sorts, he presents the cover and a few revealing pictures from more than 160 volumes, often in their original layouts. Bertolotti organizes his own book by themes, while generally adhering to a rough chronology of the genre: beginning with nudes posed in formal academies at the end of the 19th Century, he then moves through the last 100 years, illustrating the subject's evolution and enormous breadth, as well as how the aesthetics of the body reflect the timbre of their historical eras or the agendas of certain political ideologies. For example, a chapter on works published under the Weimar Republic show a fascination with the messy, exotic and sometimes kinky; the following chapter on Nazi-era German books show God-like reverence for healthy, clean Aryan nudes. Vivid images and familiar names-like Man Ray, Bill Brandt, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andre Kertesz-abound, but the volume's encyclopedic scope, buttressed by Bertolotti's socio-cultural overview, makes it more a useful reference rather than a lavish art book.
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About the Author

Born in 1960, Alessandro Bertolotti  has worked as a director of variety shows for the Italian television channel Rai for twenty-five years. Passionate about photography, he has published portraits and photographs of female nudes in numerous Italian magazines. He is one of the largest collectors of erotic books and nude photographs in Europe. A portion of his book collection will be exhibited in fall 2007 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Lanterman on July 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This review work covers the 20th century published erotic photography collector's books from a predominately European perspective. The individual books are described and photos of the open books are provided. There is some real historical value here. I think this may be of greatest value to collectors of rare books.
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By Rod Hineman on July 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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By Robin Benson on May 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The index lists 172 photographers in Bertolotti's fascinating book and maybe you can say he forgot so and so (not Stanley Tunick I hope) but it's his personal collection of books that are featured here and not a definitive study of the nude photo book. He's collected over 160 and surely this must included almost every significant title up to the early years of this century.

The twelve chapters cover various themes historically starting with Academies, the name given to nude studies that circulated in France in the 1910s, essentially for creative folk to look at the female form but of course used as erotica by everyone else. The European naturalist movement was the perfect market to allow publishers to print books of nude photos and as chapter seven reveals, in Nazi Germany, titles like the 1939 'Spirit and Beauty' showed the perfect Aryan female body.

Chapter nine features twenty-five Japanese books from the sixties onwards. Quite intriguing because the photography and the book layouts are unlike anything seen in the West, they seem almost non-erotic. Chapter eleven: 'Gay pride' has sixteen titles and the last chapter looks at twenty-six books in the Narrative format. From the sixties nude photo books evolved into telling stories, illustrated with the work of Araki, Les Krims, Helmut Newton, Bettina Rheims, Joel-Peter Witkin among others.

I like the format of the book, just like Parr and Badger's two Photo Books or a recent Taschen title: Photographers A-Z. The featured books have their covers and two or three spreads with some text about the photographer and nicely some social background regarding the years when the books were published.
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