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

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Anonymous Figure Study - Late 19th Century - Male Nude Torso

These beautiful late 19th century academic studies keep popping up on eBay France. I never tire of seeing the painterly techniques of 19th century artists on display. This work is apparently unsigned and undated but what interests me is the use of color, realistic flesh tones, and more importantly, in the artist's technical drawing skills and application of paint to canvas. I wish I were more educated in the 19th century palette for flesh tones. It is interesting how the actual application of paint progresses in the execution of this fine study. If you look very closely at the way the artist has applied the brush strokes you will see a carry over from the 19th century drawing technique: hatching. Hatching was the technique of applying distinct parallel strokes to model the form, and if necessary, a second set of strokes at the opposite angle on top, to produce cross-hatching. I am sure if you look long enough you will see variations of the other techniques of graining, allowing the weave of the canvas to carry the shadow areas, and stumping, the blending of lights and darks. This artist clearly had all the prerequisites for success in his chosen profession.

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