Using the female body as a shape
The female body has often been used as a symbol in art but it was only with the advent of photography and its ability to render fine details that abstract female nudes regularly started to appear.
An internet search for abstract nudes brings up almost no artworks that were created before the invention of photography. It seems that this is a case of art imitating photography rather than vice versa.
Shooting Studio Nudes – Tips and techniques