The nude in the landscape is a (sub)genre of fine art photography in which the nude figure,usually a female nude figure, is photographed in natural surroundings, immersed in a beautiful, often awe-inspiring landscape, to express the idea that the body is connected with the earth.
The nude in the landscape is sometimes connected with naturism, a cultural and political movement that advocates social nudity, and to some extent it is naturist in flavour. But the notion that the female body is Nature (with a capital N), which is at the heart of the nude in the landscape, is a concept steeped in Romanticism, that artistic movement which swept through Europe from the second half of the 18th century to the mid to late 19th century and which had also American developments.
It was French Enlightenment philosopher Diderot who famously said "“Nature is like a woman who enjoys disguising herself, and whose different disguises, revealing now one part of her and now another, permit those who study her and assiduously to hope that one day they may know the whole of her person” .
Nature was feminised by the Romantics, for whom the Sublime could only be achieved in the presence of Nature, at once feminine and maternal, benign but also destructive. The state of sublimity, that sense of being overwhelmed and overpowered by the grandeur and unfathomable beauty of Nature, was particularly achieved through contemplating landscapes. Landscape painting, sometimes including female nudity, thrived among the Romantics, who truly made it their own.
Later, as photography developed, it was almost a 'natural' development that the female nude should be photographed in a natural landscape. The nude in the landscape has grown into a highly respected photographic genre and it now includes, occasionally, male nudes, particularly through the association with naturist philosophy as also the influence of ecological thinking.
But the bulk of the genre remains full of beautiful female bodies to be contemplated as part of nature, immersed in landscapes which are often reminiscent of those painted by Caspar David Friederich [link] and other famous Romantic painters.
I have looked through the collection here at #fineart-photography and in general on dA to find examples of contemporary nude in the landscape. Romanticism has not died, though it definitely has a 21st century twist.
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Monica Bellucci - Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
Malin Akerman - Watchmen (2009)