Inspired by Atelier Manassé

February 12, 2014

Between the hours of appointments and paperwork, I am diving more and more in to the world of photography (especially food photography by the way) by running courses and reading books on the topic. I try to find inspiration that can feed my creative brain and that also differs from the mainstream. Modern photography interests me much less so, but even in photography from bygone era's, I try to find work that stood out and was different from what you were used to see.

If you think that manipulating photos is something of the modern day, you're very wrong! "Photoshopping" models was also happening back in the day - I have seen some great examples of that! Retouched faces and even the body was made thinner! Having a slim and healthy figure was very much the thing in the 1930s, although 'anorexic' thin models became highly popular when supermodel Twiggy came in the picture and became the idol of many, many women in the 1960s. I often wonder: what if Twiggy didn't became the standard of beauty? What would be the beauty standard of this day? What do you think?

Anyway, I am not gonna talk about models being retouched or being too thin etcetera. That topic is talked about by others for too long and too much! (But I do want to say that no matter how thin or full you are, beauty shows when you feel good in your own body! You are beautiful the way you are. Thin or not. Tall or petite. However, I do think we should get rid of the high beauty standard we have these days, saying: models that are too thin by starving themselves to fit into the designers haute couture fashion; well that should see a change).

The reason why I began to ramble about photo manipulation, is because the photos that aroused my interest and creative mind when I stumbled upon them this week - and which I want to share with you - were manipulated in a very creative way of which many would think of as something done by Photoshop CS 6 for example. They are very 'out of the box' and I like that. I, myself, try to think out of the box and don't particularly follow the rules of photography. Mind you, I am in no way a photographer! Just a creator of artistry, which happens to show through pictures every now and then.

Let's have a look at the marvelous photos of Atelier Manassé! And oh, most contain nudity but most definitely not in a tasteless or offensive way !

Atelier Manassé - a brief history

So, do you agree with me that this is magnificent imagery? Atelier Manassé was founded by Olga Solarics and her husband Adorja'n von Wlassics (what a name!) and they ran this atelier from 1922 to 1938. The studio flourished in the 1930s and the photos they took, had to portray the 'new woman' who was confident in her own sexuality, as she struggled to redefine her position in the modern world. The film world skyrocketed and Olga and Adorja'n tried to attract the leading ladies of film, theatre, opera and vaudeville and together they created masterpieces using all the techniques of makeup, retouching and overpainting and upholding an artistic vision. Olga was the one who was interested in nude photography and launched the first international salon of nude photography in Paris 1933.

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  1. I too have had that thought regarding Twiggy and other ultra thin models in the decades starting with the 1960s onward. Beauty can come in all sizes and shapes of course, but as a lifelong curvy (but not plus sized) gal myself, I've always wished there was more women who looked similar to me out there in today's modeling world. If it hadn't been Twiggy, I'm sure it would have been another ultra thin model who ushered in that shift - let's hope someone else comes along soon to swing the pendulum in the other direction.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. Those are all so cool! I like that you didn't delve into the size of models or anything like that. There's a time and place for that but they are who they are and I am who I am so I don't get to worried about it. Everyone is beautiful the way they are and they express that in different ways, and I'm finding out more and more that it's in the eye of the beholder

  3. What incredible photographs. I like especially the last one that speaks a lot to me. I love the way she looks like one of the flowers herself and radiates serenity. Very modern, even have that mirror effect that designers do on Photoshop on our days. Although this photograph is far much better, of course!

    Miss Beta


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