Mosaic Eugene, Frank  (American, 1865-1936)

A series of photographs by Eugene, which he published as individual photographs under the title “Mosaic,” constituted a high point in dance photography. It was with this particular motif that Eugene’s radical and “unphotographic” method of “photo-etching” attained a high degree of expressivity. It was originally assumed that the model in these photographic studies of movement was the dancer, Friderica Derra de Moroda, but a comparison with other known studies of her contradict this. What is more probable is that the dance studies show Dora Gedon, daughter of the famous Munich sculptor Lorenz Gedon. The composition, which awakens formal associations with the dancing Salome, achieves its dynamism not so much as a result of the dancer’s pose as of the photograph’s rich background ornamentation. Heart-shaped points in concentric spirals joint up to form dynamic lines of force whose rhythmic structure is reminiscent of comparable ornamental structures in paintings by Klimt, Moreau, Stuck or Spillaert (“Les Pieux”). p. 137
Eugene, Frank, and Ulrich Pohlmann. Frank Eugene, the Dream of Beauty. Munich: Nazraeli Press, 1995

Reproduced / Exhibited

Dawm, Patrick, Francis Ribemont, and Philip Prodger. Impressionist Camera: Pictorial Photography in Europe, 1888-1918. London: Merrell Holberton, 2006. fig. 143