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, February 11, 2012

Thomas Couture (1815-1879): Male Portrait

One of my favorite Parisian eBay sellers has listed this beautiful portrait by the famous French painter and art instructor Thomas Couture (1815-1879. I love the very competent way he handles paints on canvas in this lively portrait. Couture was a student of the famous Antoine-Jean Gros from 1830 to 1838 and Paul Delarouche from 1838 to 1839. Couture tried at least on three occasions to win the Prix de Rome but never achieved higher placement than second prize. He quickly became disgusted with the strict politics of the academic system and finally withdrew, taking an independent path in the French art world. He later became a staunch opponent of the stultified curriculum of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and even went so far as to discourage his own students from entering this hallowed institution. He first became notorious in the Parisian scene with his entry in the Paris Salon with his painting "Young Venetians after an Orgy." I would have loved to have seen the faces of the public viewing that work. What made his works attractive to the Parisian audience was his use of bright color and surface texture, which were derived from such painters as Decamps and Delacroix. Regardless of his personal bent, his methodical drawing techniques demonstrated his mastery of the now hated academic tradition.

Here is just a small selection from his very productive career:

L'avaro ... 1876

Head of a Woman .. 1853

Drummer Boy

Charles Baudelaire and Apollonie

The Fugitive - Study for Timon of Athens

The Little Bather

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