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Julian Mandel (1872 Alsace –1935 Paris), also Julien Mandel (French spelling) was one of the best-known commercial photographers of female nudes of the early twentieth century. He worked in Paris and his signature photography became known in the 1910s and was published through the mid-1930s by such firms as Alfred Noyer, Les Studios, P-C Paris, and the Neue Photographische Gesellschaft.
He produced erotic postcards. The models often are found in highly arranged classical poses, and were photographed in-studio and outdoors. The images are artfully composed with exquisite tones and soft lighting— showing a particular texture created by light rather than shadow.
Reportedly, Mandel was a member of, and participated in, the German avant-garde "new age outdoor" or "plein air" movement. Numerous pictures sold under this name feature natural settings, playing on the ultra pale, uniform skin tones of the women set against the roughness of nature.
The nude photographs were marketed in a postcard-sized format, but as A Brief History of Postcards explains: "A majority of the French nude postcards were called postcards because of the size. They were never meant to be postally sent. It was illegal to send such images in the post (see History of erotic photography). The size enabled them to be placed readily into jacket pockets, packages, and books.
J. Mandel usually appears on the front of these card-sized photographs, being one of the few photographers of the day to stamp or sign a name on the front of works. Large numbers were sold.
Julian Mandel has been compared to Julian Walery who also created "plein-air" and exquisite deco-style nudes in the 1920s.
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