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

Friday, July 12, 2024

Unknown Artist.... Late 19th Century. The Three Graces

Well, I can assure you that when you start fishing around in storage drawers you never know what will turn up. This small drawing was lurking in a drawer in my map case and I stumbled on it this morning. It is unsigned and the artist is unknown but it is from the late 19th century. The "Three Graces" has always been one of my favorite legends. The number of Graces (Charis) vary throughout the history of art and in ancient Greek literature there were alledged to be three: Aglaia (Brightness - Elegance), Euphrosyne (Joyfulness - Mirth), and Thalia (Bloom - Youth and Beauty). In ancient Rome they were known as the Gratiae. They were said to be the daughters of Zeus and Hera, Zeus and Eunomia, or Helios and Aegle, a daughter of Zeus. Take your pick. Their major role in mythology was to attend the other Olympians, particularily during feasts and dances. Art history is full of various renditions of the subject matter in every medium imaginable. It seems as though everybody and his uncle has their own interpretation of The Three Graces!

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Karl Ludwig Nagel (1898-1959) Study of a Nude Youth Excercising

This small drawing came into my collection last year and was placed in a drawer until I rediscover it a few days ago.It is a small study of a nude youth excercising. Pencil on paper from 1916. The German painter Karl Ludwig Nagel was born in Mannheim in 1898 and worked, among others, in Weinheim an der Bergstrasse and later in Bonn am Rhein, where he died in 1959. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Ferdinando De Luca (Italian Artist - Late 19th - Early 20th Century) - Young Italian Scugnizzi - (Street Urchin) - with his Catch

This beautiful monumental bronze (measuring 34 innches in height) recently arrived into my collection from a Gallery in London, UK. The owner told me it was bought during a trip to Taormina, Sicily, Italy several years ago for his personal collection and now it was time to pass it along to a new owner. The bronze is of a young boy or scugnizzi (street urchin) holding his catch. It reminds me of the sculptures of Vincenzo Gemito, Ferdinando Vichi, and Annibale De lotto. De Luca was a classical artist known for producing sculptures of small bronze busts, depicting "street urchins", fishermen, classical figures. and commoners with realistic features. Unfortunately there is scant biographical information, including the dates of his birth and death, floating around but there are numerous examples of his other works. Enjoy!
Here are a few examples of his other works:

Unknown Danish Artist… Nude Boy Posed as Cupid . Dated October 1849

The delicately executed mid-19th century study of a nude youth posed as an archer and/or study for Cupid is on it's way into my collection from Denmark. The drawing is dated "October 1849" but, unfortunately" is not signed by the artist. Enjoy. ---------------

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Professor MAX FELDBAUER (1869-1948): “Der Engel & der Bauer” ….. The Angel and the Farmer -1910

----------------The Artist: Max Felbauer (1869-1948) This painting (Below) is on it's way to the US. Fingers crossed that it makes it into my collection and doesn't vaporize. There are a number of stories and poems out there regarding the theme of this painting. There is a famous painting in the Vatacan on the same theme. My favorite interpretation of the event is this one: "The story of 'The Old Farmer and the Angel' illustrates the theme of contentment and joyfulness. The olld farmer, despite his age and presumably modest life, is content and happy. When presented with the opportunity to make a wish by the angel, he doesn't ask for material wealth or anything extravagant. Instead, he expresses his happiness with the current moment and the very presence of the angel. The story conveys the idea that true happiness can be found in simple things, appreciating what one has, and in cherishing the present moment rather than constantly seeking more. It's a reminder that joyfulness amd contentment come from within and aren't always dependent on external circumstances or possessions.----------- Here is a brief biography of the artist: ------"Max Feldbauer (1869–1948) was a German painter, associated with the Munich Secession. He is primarily known for rural, Bavarian scenes. His father, Josef Feldbauer, served as the mayor of Neumarkt from 1868 to 1876. After his father and his five younger siblings had died, he and his mother moved to Munich. His first art lessons were at the Kunstgewerbeschule. He then attended the private art school operated by Simon Hollósy, where he was introduced to Impressionism, and continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. His instructors there included Otto Seitz, Paul Hoecker and Johann Caspar Herterich. In 1899, he married the painter, Elise Eigner, of Schwandorf. From 1901 to 1915, he taught at the Academy of the Münchner Künstlerinnenverein [de] (women artists' association). In 1908, he joined the Munich Secession. He also ran his own painting school, in Mitterndorf, near the Dachau art colony, from 1912 to 1922. He left the Secession in 1913; becoming one of the founders of the New Secession [de], and served as a board member. In addition to all of these activities, he provided illustrations for Die Jugend (Youth), a weekly arts magazine. After several trips through France and Italy, he settled near Dachau. In 1916, he was appointed to teach at the Kunstgewerbeschule Dresden [de] (arts and crafts school) then, in 1918, to the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, where he served as President in 1928. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, he was initially banned from exhibiting. He returned to Munich, but was bombed out of his home in 1944. Ironically, that same year, he was included on the "Gottbegnadeten-Liste" (God given list) of artists who were considered crucial to Nazi culture. Unable to find another home, he moved to Oberschneiding, where he died four years later. His works may be seen at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, and the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, among others." As you can see, there is an additional study on the reverse of the painting.
Here is the Vatacan painting:
Examples of his other works:

Luca Madrassi (1848-1919) “The Fallen Gladiator” circa 1900

Well, I can assure you that the pickings from European Auction sites have been few and far between. If you are looking for over priced drawings or paintings of the nude then have at it because there are tons of overpriced items out there. Lately it has been a real ordeal getting artworks out of Europe and into my collection. The painting "The Shy Boy" previously listed as "on it's way" has now disappeared somewhere in the postal system. Another sculpture from a European seller has proven to be a scam. He insists the package was sent and the tracking number provided shows it was delivered to an address 354 miles from my home. Some people have to resort to outright theft in these hard times! I found this Maddrassi bronze on a European site and did some research on past auction results and it was within the affordable. It has some minor age related flaws but is still a nice sculpture. Fingers crossed it makes it through the circus we call the American Postal Service! Here is some basic biographical information on the artist:...................Born in Tricesimo, Italy in 1848, Madrassi began his art studies in Rome before studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, under the famous master Pierre-Jules Cavelier.    Madrassi joined the studio of the famous sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse's (1824-1887) and later Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929); both of which had great influence on the playful romantic quality of his work.    He  also assisted the Scottish sculptor Lord Ronald Gower (1845-1916).  Known primarily for busts and statuettes his work is typically defined by an imaginative and sensitive interpretation of allegorical themes. Madrassi exhibited frequently at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Francais from 1879 onwards, obtaining an honourable mention on several occasions (1881 , 1882 , 1883 and 1885) and a third-class medal in 1896.  In 1890 he finally obtained French nationality and became a full member of the Société des Artistes Français. He also exhibited at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1896.  
And here are a few examples of his prolific line up of sculptural editions: