The Passion of Collecting Academic Nudes

Join me as we explore my collection of Academic Nudes from the 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Centuries and serendipitous finds in the Museum, Art Auction, and Gallery world......examples from the Golden Age of the European Academie

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Frederick Coffay Yohn (1875-1933) Standing Male Nude

Frederick Coffay Yohn (born 1875 Indianapolis, Indiana - died 1933 Norwalk, Connecticut) was a very productive painter and magazine illustrator. His work appeared in popular publications of the era including Scribner's, Harper's, and Collier's Weekly. He illustrated many books including Jack London's A Daughter of the Snows and Henry Cabot Lodge's Story of the American Revolution. He originally studied at the Indianapolis Art School during his first student year and then studied at the Art Students League of New York under Henry Siddons Mowbray (1858-1928). Mowbray studied at the Atelier of Leon Bonnet in Paris. Yohn specialized in historical military themes, especially of the American Revolution, as well as the First World War. He designed the US .02 cent stamp in 1929 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of George Rogers Clark's Victory over the British at Sackville. He is best known for his painting of George Washington at Valley Forge. As exemplified by the below academic nude, his forte was the accuracy of expression and attention to exquisite detail. His mastery of the medium is very evident in the below drawing. If you look closely you can see how he very carefully treated the pelt of fine hair on the model's upper chest, stomach, and even included the model's circumcision scar (Don't get me started on that subject. I consider it the height of barbarism and an abomination, an attack on one's manhood, genital mutilation, pure and simple). Interestingly enough, this is the only circumcised male figure I have in my collection. Look at the intense detail of the model's right foot, the graceful crook of the toes. Later in his career, Yohn also taught at the Art Students League. This drawing came from the estate of a relative of the artist in upstate New York and most likely, based upon the obvious age and condition of the paper, is dated during his time as a student at the Art Students League in New York. Again, I am indeed humbled by his draftsmanship.


Caption: Standing Male Nude
Artist: Frederick Coffay Yohn (1875-1933)(signed in the upper right hand corner: Fred C. Yohn)
Medium: Pierre noir on laid paper
Dated: circa 1900
Here are some examples of Yohn's mature works, magazine illustrations and historical paintings

American Soldiers Storming a German Position ...1918

Alice of Vincennes..

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