With its diffuse lighting and soft tones, Paul Haviland’s Seated Nude demonstrates his stylistic allegiance to the Photo-Secession group of American photographers.
Haviland was a French émigré and heir to a successful porcelain manufacturing firm, but after meeting Alfred Stieglitz in 1908, he devoted the next decade to establishing the legitimacy of photography as a form of high art. He published both photographs and essays in Camera Work, the preeminent American journal of avant-garde art, and helped found its successor, 291. This image is similar to photos of female nudes published by Haviland’s colleagues, with the model assuming an unusual and contorted pose in a hazy, empty interior space, her face turned away or concealed in shadow.
Quoted from Changing Poses: The Artists’ Model