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, April 18, 2012

Richard Maguet (1896-1940): Young Men in the Park

Eduard Manet: Le dejeuner Sur L'Herbe

Addendum (April 30): As usual, I try to read through these posts from time to time to correct errors in logic, spelling, and whatever else I see out of whack, and as I was reading through what I wrote about that painting below, glancing down at the overall composition, trying to see more hidden erotic meaning in it, something that I had not seen before leaped off the page at me. Take a careful look at the overall composition of those four boys and then ask yourself what kind of hidden erotic image lies within that composition? If that composition is not phallic, I will eat my jammies. The outline of the male reproductive equipment is right there in that composition to titilate the viewer. I am really surprised it took me so long to see it. It is so obvious if you just look...... see if you can see the shape I am referring to. (hint.. the standing boy is the erect phallus and the boys sitting at his feet become the testes, that red blanket becomes the pubic area). The artist certainly had a sense of humor.

Historia Auktionshaus, Berlin, DE has listed this Richard Maguet painting (directly below) in their current catalog. When I first spotted it in the listings, I laughed out loud. I could not help it. Don't get me wrong, the artistic skills of the artist are not in question, but the subject matter just cracked me up. It immediately reminded me of Manet's "Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe." (Posted above... I always wondered what the heck was going on in that painting and still look forward to my first picnic where everyone takes their clothes off). As I scanned the context of the figures, I noticed that empty bottle of wine and then my attention shifted to the apparent age of the "young men," boys in actuality, and the somewhat obvious sexuality of the entire voyeuristic situation. The artist has intentionally put the observer into the position of being a blatant voyeur, wanting you to appreciate his obvious adoration of that half-nude young man stripping down to his undergarments. Was the object here to shock? Or is it simply an invitation to admire that graceful, half nude, somewhat feminized boy? I know each and every one of you have been relaxing on the beach and had some object of your deepest desire shed his or her clothes within your captured gaze. In this case the artist has memorialized his own vision, an instant in memory when beauty shined brightly and just had to be captured forever.


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