- Robert Mapplethorpe 1946–1989
- Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
- Support: 374 x 373 mm
frame: 644 x 621 x 38 mm
- Tate / National Galleries of Scotland
- ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Mapplethorpe rarely photographed nature in the ‘wild’. Here, like his flower photographs, he has removed the subject from its natural environment. Although considering frogs’ unpredictability, especially in comparison to flowers, Mapplethorpe has managed to capture eight within a perfectly balanced composition. With all points of reference removed, the plate has become a white circle, suspended on a black background. The frogs appear to have gathered contently across the surface of the plate, oblivious to the religious connotations of sacrifice and the humourous allusion to the well-known French delicacy of frogs’ legs.