November 8th, 2012

carole lombard 04
  • vp19

Variations on a nightgown

carole lombard p1202-414a

That's Carole Lombard in Paramount p1202-414, likely taken by Eugene Robert Richee in late 1932 or early 1933. It was on sale at eBay last night, but someone apparently bought it before I could make that the theme of today's entry. So it's on to plan B.

This portrait was one of several at a session showing Carole in a nightgown, often sitting in a chair. They are fascinating to examine together, as they reveal the intricacies of the photographer's craft, especially regarding lighting. We'll begin with p1202-418 (which we know was taken by Richee)...

carole lombard p1202-418d

...and p1202-421:

carole lombard p1202-421 large

An altogether different aura was achieved by having Carole stand up and shining a light on the flimsy lower half of the nightgown, leading to a silhouette of those lovely Lombard legs. To see just how seductive this effect appears, check out p1202-415...

carole lombard p1202-415a

...p1202-416...

carole lombard p1202-416a

and p1202-420:

carole lombard p1202-420a

Also from that session, but with no p1202 number I can confirm, is this pose:

carole lombard p1202-41x large

Using a cigarette as a prop has little appeal for 2012 eyes, but back then it was deemed somewhat sexy. (Ah, the changes 80 years can bring!)

Perhaps there remain a few more images from that session, just waiting to be uncovered by classic Hollywood photo sleuths.
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