Internet Treasures: Iconic Photos


La Dame Indignee by Robert Doisneau

One of my favourite photography blogs is Iconic Photos created by Alex Selwyn-Holmes.

He gives so much rich history to photographs, tells the story behind the image, many of which are indelibly etched in our minds, which have captured a moment in time, and we recognise them when we see them, though we may not even know why. He gives the why, and it is fascinating.

We don’t always want or need to know the story behind an image, especially when we project our own story upon it, but sometimes the image has such an amazing and intriguing tale to tell that knowing it does not take away from our own stories, it adds to them. Gives them even more life and depth.

I love La Dame Indignee by Robert Doisneau. The story behind the photograph can be found on Iconic Photos – Un Regard Oblique.

For me this image touches upon a personal experience. I was in an art gallery one day and a woman came in with her husband. She had a very strident voice, and, as she gazed upon a nude, she exclaimed very loudly ‘How rude!’. She went on and on and on about how awful the painting was, she seemed to be having an orgasm with each vile criticism she hurled violently at the piece. Eventually her rather hunched and embarrassed husband ushered her out of the gallery, all the while she was still criticising the piece, trying to drink in every last drop of  her horrified pleasure. I remember wondering why this woman was so obsessed with this one piece when there were so many other paintings to look at, paintings of many diverse subjects. If this one offended her so much, why not just ignore it. Perhaps because secretly this was the piece which she loved the most. After all, art does not exist just to please the eye of the viewer…

Personally I love nudes, they are a celebration of the human form, and they are a way for us to see that our bodies are a work of art too.

There are many very magnificent photographs and photographers featured on Iconic Photos, it is a treasure trove of images, the tales they hold within them, and the artists who crafted them. A wonderful place to pass the time and feed the mind and eyes. Love it!


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