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Academic Nude - Tower of IvoryEnlarge image

Academic Nude - Tower of Ivory, June 1924

Margaret Watkins
Canadian, 1884 - 1969
palladium print
21.2 x 16 cm
Purchased 1984 with the assistance of a grant from the Government of Canada under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act
National Gallery of Canada (no. 20626)

Watkins paid close attention to the settings and backdrops in her portraits. In this nude study, she photographed the dancer Marguerite Agniel in front of a pair of embroidered Chinese screens, a flea-market find she considered “a treasure.” Here the subject’s pose creates a gentle curve echoed by the semi-transparent fabric that curls from her right shoulder around to her left calf. The sinuous ‘S’ shape is cleverly contained by the architecture of the shimmering screens.

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