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, July 17, 2010

Franz Kienmayer (1886 - 1963) Death of Abel ...Male Nude

Franz Kienmayer (1886 - 1963) was an Austrian born painter and illustrator. He studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Art with August Delug and later in Liepzig in 1926. From 1942 he worked as a Professor in Liepzig and later in Baden-Baden. Kienmayer travelled extensively in China, Japan, The Indonesian Archipelago and Ceylon in the 1930's. He exhibited his works in Indonesia and The Hague, Netherlands. He retired in Leipzig.
During one's course of instruction at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, students were presented a list of topics for their finals presentations. Amongst that list would be such iconographic images such as: Cain kills Abel, Adam & Eve find Abel's body, the Prodigal Son, death, mourning, farewell, and the expulsion from paradise. Another subject was "The Death of Abel" which allowed the artist to paint and draw the male nude. This is a drawing dated 1907 in brown crayon.

Caption: The Death of Able (Reclining Male Nude)
Artist: Franz Kienmayer (1886 - 1963)
Medium: Browm crayon
Dated: 1904

Here are a few examples of Kienmayer's mature genre works:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Auguste LeGras (1817 - 1887) Sleeping Cupid - Nude Putto

Caption: Sleeping cupid
Artist: Auguste LeGras (1817 - 1887)
Medium: Red chalk on laid paper (possibly a chalk manner etching)
Dated: Undated (bears the Atelier stamp of Ate.Legras)

Here are a few examples of Auguste LeGras' mature works:

Auguste LeGras (1817 - 1887) was born in Perigueux, France and was a pupil of Jean-Claude Bonneford (1796 - 1860) and Ary Scheffer (1795 - 1858). LeGras made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1847 and exhibited up to 1882. He was Ary Scheffer's assistant for some twenty years. He worked mainly on portraits and copies of Old Masters. This is a red chalk drawing on thick laid paper, most probably executed in the first half of the 19th Century. The subject matter, sleeping cupid, has a long history in art, especially well known is the Carravaggio Cupid of 1495. The iconographic image has been repeated many, many times over the years. In this particular case the putto or nude boy is holding a sickle which is symbolic of hope, hope for a fruitful harvest of things hoped for, i.e. love. I have seen other renditions of this same pose and same model which leaves me to believe that perhaps it is drawn from a sculpture or plaster cast. I'll have to do some more research and see what turns up. I will have to find my magnifying glass and determine if it is a drawing and not a chalk etching. Could be either. Anywho, it is a beautiful execution of a timeless subject matter.
Addendum: I found my magnifying loup and the more I look at this drawing the more I am convinced it is a rote chalk manner print. I have another chalk manner print from the late 18th century and the paper and drawing have the same feel and look as this drawing. I am going to take an educated guess now and say it is definitely a chalk manner print. The mystery lies in the atelier stamp on the back and the front of the drawing. The unanswered question is: Is the atelier stamp there to show it once belonged in the artist's collection or is it there to denote authorship of the print/drawing? Now I am really confused. Story of my life.

Hendrik Gerrit Bokhorst (1894 - 1972) Nude Male Youths

Hendrick Gerrit Bokhorst (1894 - 1972) was a Dutch artist who came from a family of artistic individuals (father and brother). Bokhorst was born in Deventer in 1895. I have scant biographic information on his early training but he is listed as a decorative painter, glazier, and landscape painter. He possessed great talent and had a fine sense of mood and expression in his landscapes. Today, his work is rare and much sought after by collectors of painters of the Deventer School.

These several drawings and a number of others which I sold later were discovered in a small shop in an Amsterdam Flea Market several years ago. I had taken a biking-barge tour of central Holland and was spending a weekend in Amsterdam before departing for Paris the following week. They are beautifully executed studies of the male youth. (The slight discoloration on the drawings is just a shadow from the window light in which they were photographed.).

Caption: Nude Male Youths in various poses
Artist: Hendrik Gerrit Bokhorst (1894 - 1972) (Dutch)
Medium: pierre noir on laid paper
Dated: undated (First half of the 20th Century)

Here is an example of Bokhorst's mature work. According to what I have been able to research his works are somewhat rare and much sought after by a growing group of Deventer School painters in Holland.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paul Kammerer (1868 -1950) Male Nude in Red Chalks

Paul Kammerer (1868 -1950) was a German-Swiss painter active during the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He studied at the Stuttgart Art School and was active in Rome and Tagerwilen during his lifetime. I spotted this nice rotel (forgive the lack of umlauts in the Google text editing for their blogs...the"a" in Kammerer has an umlaut) chalk drawing last night on eBay Germany and bought it. I love drawings like this that are not necessarily finished but show explicitly the technical aspects of the artist's skills. You can almost feel the weight of that item he is carrying and you can indeed see the effect the weight is having on his torso. As the Academe System in collapsed in Europe and Modernism exploded, you can see how the products in academic nudes just went to hell in a hand basket by the 1930's. By that time, the party was over. Art schools just were not turning out the kind of technical expertise that prevailed in the 19th century.

Caption: Standing Male Nude
Artist: Paul Kammerer (1868 - 1950)
Medium: Red chalks on laid paper
Dated: 1909

Here are a couple of examples of Kammerer's mature works:
Fruhlingserwachen ...1914

Conception - 1936