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 7, 2010

The Works of Raoul du Gardier

I thought I would list several examples of Raoul du Gardier's works along with the Academic Male Nude that is out for restoration before we get started on a review of my collected works.

Above is a selection of du Gardier's mature works. The Conservation Expert who is doing the restoration of the Male Nude described the quality of the painting and the fact that the hand that created it was indeed the hand of a master. The materials the artist used are of high quality and the work shows a knowledgeable and sensitive hand in the rendering of the model. As I listened to her describe the color palette the artist used I was enraptured by the description and her knowledge of Art materials. I could tell from the passion in her voice that I had truly found someone who appreciates art and has devoted her life to returning great art to its former glory. Soon we will begin the journey into my collection and hopefully an appreciation of these wonderful works of art that over time have been basically dismissed as "academic works" and not reflective of the artist's mature works. I really beg to disagree with that line of reasoning because these academic works are a history of the passion and skills each of these artists developed in the early stages of their career. Considering the fight you have to put up in both money and effort to obtain a quality academic nude, I would say there are many out there in the world who share my view of these works. I know from first hand that once initiated into the academic world of the nude an artist will always come back to the basics to keep attuned to their roots. Enjoy, and let's get started on our journey........

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Works of Art Coming from Europe

Above is an interesting "appropriation" of the drawing below that is coming from Milan, Italy after the first of June. The obviously computer generated photograph is by Giacomo Lorenzo, Maryland, who has used a single image from the Tamburini, Jr. drawing in his own creation. "Appropriation" is an age old technique in art and has served Mr. Lorenzo well in this case.

I am excited about several works which are on their way from Germany and Italy later in the month. (illustrated above) I think my second love in art is with intaglio prints and lithography. After I took my first printmaking class I fell in love with prints, the print making process, and, along the way of amassing my collection of Academic Nudes, I have tried to add select graphic works that are not necessarily considered strictly Academic works, although I will be showing a few intaglio prints I have managed to find in that category, but which do feature the nude as the central theme. Two of my favorite printmakers are Ludwig von Hofmann (1861-1945) and Lovis Corinth (1858-1925). One of the works on its way from Germany is a color Lithograph by von Hofmann. Ludwig von Hofmann attended academies in Dresden, Karlsruhe, and Munich (1883-89). He continued his training from 1889 to 1890 at the Academie Julian in Paris where he absorbed the influence of Pierre Cecile Puvis de Chavannes. If you are familiar with the works of de Chavannes then you can see the influence in his early subject matter. In 1890 he joined Die Elf, which included such great names as Lovis Corinth (1858-1925), Max Klinger (1857-1920), and Max Liebermann (1847-1935). Hofmann combines a traditional, academic style with Art Nouveau motifs. The title of the work is Reife Fruchte (Ripe Fruit..Loose translation).

The second work is by by Italian/American artist Arnaldo Casella Tamburini, Jr. (Florence 1885 - Chicago 1936). It is a work on paper in colored chalks and is titled Two Studies Of A Seated Nude Boy Playing The Flute. Tamburini trained in Italy and is known for his portraits of famous personages. He painted Sir Wilfred Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada, and a portrait of Enrico Caruso, which hangs in the Galleria d'arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti. As well as portraits, Tamburini painted allegorical compositions and landscape.

Academic Nude by Maximilian Spilhaczek (1876-1961)

Although I have yet to received the drawing, I still wanted to post a photograph of the work just to whet your appetite. I will photograph more details and post them later for your enjoyment. Until now this will have to do.
Good news! I just spoke with the Conservation specialist and the restoration of the du Gardier painting is within the budget and will proceed. As soon as I receive photographs of the restoration I will share them with you. I really look forward to the restored painting taking a central place in my collection.

Academic Nudes by Alexis Bafcop (1804-1895)

Yesterday (April 5, 2010) I packed up the Male Nude Academic painting by Raoul du Gardier and shipped it off to the Conservation Laboratory for what I hope is its complete cleaning and repair (provided it doesn't put a giant hole in my budget). This beautifully executed male nude deserves a new life and I look forward to posting photographs of it when it returns. I have only had it in my possession for a few days but those few days have been very enjoyable. If you would like to see the website and the conservation work of a master craftswoman please visit:

I was very fortunate in finding Alexandra's website through the Fine Arts Conservancy website. She is highly knowledgeable and comes with a world of experience in the conservation of Fine Art. If I can afford a full restoration, I am sure she will post the progress on her website for you to see, if not, then I will post them here when I receive them. I am excited about having the work in such capable and experienced hands.

I also wanted to post photographs of the three new Academic Nude drawings on paper I recently received from France and Germany. The first two drawings are by Alexis Bafcop (1804 - 1895). Bafcop exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1831 to 1840. His works are displayed in several National Museums in France. The first drawing is signed and dated "Paris 18 December 1841." The other drawing us unsigned but by the same artist and is most probably from the same time period.

The third illustration on the next post is by Maximilian Spilhaczek (1876 - 1961) and is from the early 1920's. I do not usually bother with Academic Studies from the 20th Century simply because, in my humble opinion, the Acadame System of rigorous training had just about collapsed with the invention of Modernism and the Gallery system, and nothing coming out of Art Schools during this time could compare technically to what preceded it, but alas here is a notable exception. When I saw this drawing illustrated on the website, I was drawn to the expert hand that created it. Spilhaczek is a well known Austrian Artist who studied at the Vienna Academy under professors Griepenterl, Rumpler, and Lichtenfels. He exhibited regularly at the Vienna "Kunstlerhaus", the largest exhibition hall of the time. The near photographic technical nature of the work captured my attention and I had to have it for my collection.

In the coming weeks I would like to begin a journey with you through my collection and try to share with you my passion for the 19th Century Academic Nude.