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

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gustav Sykora (1889-1966) Blond Nude on a Sofa

Auction House Zezula, Hlinky, CZ has listed a Gustav Sykora nude in its upcoming auction. (To be continued)

19th Century European School: Nude Girl; Madchenakt in Boudoir - ca. 1880

Auctionhaus Zofingen, Klosterligasse, Czech Republic, has something rare up for auction in their latest catalog, an academic nude featuring a young female. You do not see these, especially well executed paintings like this, every day. They are few and far between. Unfortunately it is unsigned and the artist will remain anonymous, although his talent shines through.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Carl Kauba (1865-1922) Der Denker ca. 1900; True Blue 1915

This morning I found a bronze on eBay Germany a copy of Carl Kauba's "The Thinker," directly below. I thought this would be a good excuse to photograph my copy of Kauba's "True Blue" and post it for you. Kauba is interesting in that he specialized in American Western (native American) subjects for some of his bronzes without ever setting foot in North America. He was an Austrian by birth and the son of s shoemaker. Bronze collectors place Kauba in the realm of Remington and Russell as one of the great portrayers of American Western subjects. His subjects were typically Native Americans, calvarymen, cowboys, and roughriders. He is also known for his Austrian statuary. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under the tutalige of Professor Laufenberg. Later he studied in Paris. Kauba's fascination with the American West was fed by the literary works of Carl May, whose works were known throughout Europe at the time. His bronzes were all produced in Austria. He personally directed the casting of his bronzes.

The Last few photographs are of my copy of Kauba's 1915 work commissioned by the National Security League in New York titled : "True Blue." Even Kauba's smaller bronzes are full of detail and realistic forms.


Here are photographs of my copy of Kauba's bronze "True Blue".


Caption: True Blue (Commissioned by the National Security League, New York)

Artist: Carl Kauba (1865-1922)

Materials: Cast Bronze

Dated: 1915

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Alois Kasimir (1852-1930) Nude Ephebe with Flute (Junger Knabe mit Flote)


Well it's all over but the shouting. I managed to take a second 19th century drawing by Alois Kasimir (1852-1930) this afternoon (above and directly below), in this case a pencil/graphite drawing of a nude ephebe playing a flute (a motif you see in academic drawings over and over again. I have posted another nude ephebe with flute I own in the past). I will photograph them in more detail when they arrive in a few weeks and post the results for you. The first drawing I bought (second below) I bought at a lower price but this one I had estimated its worth as far more. Luckily I was dead-on in my estimation and outbid a very determined European antiques dealer. You sort of get a gut feeling about what the market will bear after seeing hundreds of these auctions. Although the above drawing is not signed, stylistic similarities say they are by the same hand though, perhaps even the same model. The seller has indicated the artist is her great-great grandfather and the drawings come directly from the family, so the provenance is intact.

Alois Kasimir (1852-1930) Young Boy with Flute ...circa 1880
Here is the first unsigned Kasimir drawing I bought a week ago:

Alois Kasimir (1852-1930) Standing Nude Boy .... circa 1880

Biedermeier Painting (Male Member with Vines) circa 1830

Caution: If you are allergic to the male member, then skip this post!
When I saw this painting listed on eBay Germany this morning my lower jaw hit the floor. The listed price is out of my budget now or I would add it to my collection. It is so playful that I would put it in the center of a wall full of nudes and see if anyone notices it. It would quite thrill me to see the expressions of shock on some familiar faces I know. Afterall, it is a nude, sort of, and it's 19th century, no doubt there, and it's academic in style, quite the product of careful observation by the artist, and at least half of us have one of those in one shape or another, so why not? The ivy would go with most decors. Paintings like this are very rare and seldom come up for sale. Anyway, this is a perfect time to introduce a new term to you: Biedermeier. Biedermeier refers to middle-class sensibilities (I don't think you would see this painting hanging on a sensible wall in the 19th century but it might be found in the back of a closet) of the historical period 1815-1848. Today the term is used to describe artistic styles in literature, music, the visual arts, and interior design from the period of 1815-1848.

Caption: Penis mit Weinlaub (Penis in vines)
Artist: Unknown

Material: Oils on prepared wood panel

Dated: Biedermeier Period (Germany) (1815-1948)

Franz von Bayros (1866-1924) Erotic Scene

And now for something entirely different.......................
You knew eventually we would get around to Franz von Bayros (1866-1924) and his works. I call him the "king of erotica" in the great tradition of Aubrey Beardsley. Franz von Bayros was a dirty old man quite after my heart. He was an Austrian commercial artist, painter, and illustrator who is best known for his controversial portfolio "Tales at the Dressing Table." He belonged to the "Decadent Movement" in art. He studied at the Vienna Academy. Von Bayros circulated in elegant society in Austria and took his ques from their foibles. He gave his first exhibition in Munich in 1904, which proved very successful. From 1904 to 1908 he traveled to Paris and Italy to continue his studies. A seller on eBay Austria has a framed image of Bayros' currently listed (below).


Here are a few "tamer" examples of his erotic works:


Eduard Veith (1856-1925) Portrait of Anna Schopt 1890: Study For Sigfried 1900


Eduard Veith (1856-1925)


In a previous post I introduced you to the works of Eduard Veith (1856-1925). I found some additional studies by Veith in various media. I was impressed with the Portrait of Anna Schopf in gouache (Gouache differs from watercolor in that the particles suspended in the medium are larger and the ratio of pigment to water is much higher. An inert ingredient white pigment (chalk) is also present. This, in effect, makes gouache heavier and more opaque, with greater reflective power). Veith is truly a master of many mediums.


Oils on Board, Study for Nibelungensage-Siegfried - 1900

Gouache on Paper, Portrait of Anna Schopf.... 1878


Here are a few additional examples of Veith's figurative and portrait works: