Helmut Newton - Photographs London Friday, May 19, 2023 | Phillips
  • “It’s without any artifice. It’s just a woman standing there; she wears high heeled shoes, nothing else. It’s almost like a passport photograph, but in the nude.”
    —Helmut Newton

    This complete set of five Big Nudes – Yuko, Camilla, Raquel, Una and Verina – was published in 1994 by Galerie Sho and first exhibited at the Tokyo gallery from 3 May to 30 June in the same year. The selected images are part of the fourth and final series of Big Nudes Newton produced in 1993. Featuring women of different ethnicities and body types, these Big Nudes are some of his most inclusive works, encompassing a global outlook on women. What they have in common with his previous Big Nude series is that these women are fully confident and in control; they are unapologetic for all that they present before the camera.


    In comparing the five images with their Big Nude counterparts with roman numerals, we have come upon the following findings. While Verina is the same image as Big Nude XI, Camilla, Raquel and Una are variants of Big Nude XII, XV and XIV, respectively. In terms of Yuko, she appears to only exist as part of the Galerie Sho set. This is only the second time a complete set is offered at auction, the last time being in 2014.

    • Provenance

      Galerie Sho, Tokyo, 1994

    • Literature

      Helmut Newton: Mes derniers nus, Paris: Galerie Vallois, 1994, pl. 7 (Verina)
      Helmut Newton: Work, Cologne: Taschen, 2001, p. 175 (Una, variant)

    • Artist Biography

      Helmut Newton

      German • 1920 - 2004

      Helmut Newton's distinct style of eroticism and highly produced images was deemed rebellious and revolutionary in its time, as he turned the expected notion of beauty, depicted by passive and submissive women, on its head. Depicting his models as strong and powerful women, Newton reversed gender stereotypes and examined society's understanding of female desire.

      Newton created a working space for his models that was part decadent and part unorthodox — a safe microcosm in which fantasies became reality. And perhaps most famously of all, Newton engendered an environment in which his female models claimed the space around them with unapologetic poise and commanding sensuality. His almost cinematic compositions provided a hyper-real backdrop for the provocative images of sculptural, larger-than-life women, and enhanced the themes of voyeurism and fetishism that run throughout his work.

      View More Works


Big Nude: Yuko, Camilla, Raquel, Una and Verina

Complete set of five gelatin silver prints, printed 1994.
Each image: 46.5 x 37.3 cm (18 1/4 x 14 5/8 in.)
Each sheet: 49.6 x 40.3 cm (19 1/2 x 15 7/8 in.)

Each signed, titled, dated, numbered 5/15, annotated ‘Nice’ in pencil, 'Monte-Carlo' copyright credit, reproduction limitation and ‘Galerie Sho Multiples, Tokyo’ publisher’s stamps on the verso. Each print is one from a sold-out edition of 15.

Full Cataloguing

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £57,150

Contact Specialist

Rachel Peart
Head of Department, London

Yuka Yamaji
Head of Photographs, Europe

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London Auction 19 May 2023