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, August 27, 2010

Johannes Gotz (Goetz)(1865-1934) Jugendstil Bronze: Balancierender Knabe auf Kugel (Boy Balancing on a Ball)

Portrait of Johannes Gotz (1865-1934)


Caption: Balancing Boy on a Ball
Artist: Johannes Gotz (1865-1935)
Medium: Lost wax casting, Bronze
Dated: circa 1900
(Pardon the missing umlaut in Gotz's name)

Several weeks ago I was corresponding with the young woman who does my paper and oil painting restorations and she mentioned that now is a good time to buy European works of art considering the economic situation there and the fact that many nice works are being sold on the open market. I kept that in the back of my mind as I went about my constant search for drawings and paintings featuring the nude figure. Last night I happened upon a German Gallery listing on the net and snapped up this beautiful investment bronze. With the dollar heading for oblivion, it stands to reason those soon to be inflated pieces of paper had better be traded for something more substantial than the paper they are printed on. When I saw this beautiful bronze I decided to make the leap and add it to my collection. I have seen it before in Galleries and an example resides in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The price was slightly out of bounds but if I eat out of the same cans the dogs eat out of for a month (Pedigree Chicken & Rice is not bad on toast I hear) I could manage the cost, so I bought it. It should be on its way from Germany soon and into my collection. The art market will come back with a vengeance some day and this depressed market will be a thing of the past. (One man's depression is another man's opportunity I believe). 19th and early 20th century bronzes tend to be a bit expensive so I try to confine my collecting to drawings and paintings. This one I could not pass up though. I have several other nice bronzes of the same subject (nude youths) in my collection, a beautiful French bronze of Young Saint John the Baptist and a bronze study of a nude boy for a fountain from the Roman Bronze Works of New York. I will take those out and photograph them and post them at a later date. I think what is most satisfying about this bronze is the playful action of that figure. The artist has captured the very essence of what it means to be a boy.


Johannes Goetz (1865-1934) came from a family of artisans in Furth, Germany. He initially trained at the Art School in Nurenberg and later went to the Berlin Academy where he studied under the famous Prussian Sculptor Reinhold Begas (1831-1911). He enjoyed a wide popularity, including members of the Royal household. He collaborated in the decoration of the facade of the Berlin cathedral. From 1884 he lived in Berlin and enjoyed wide success. In 1892 to took the Prix de Rome.

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