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, November 5, 2010

Otto Greiner (1869 - 1916): Male Nude (Lithograph)

Otto Greiner (1869-1916) is without doubt my favorite Symbolist artist. He had such a superb command of the human figure as to bring one to tears in envy. He was a German painter and print maker. He started his career in a lithography-etching apprenticeship in Liepzig in 1884 and there also took drawing lessons. Between 1888 and 1891 he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Munich under Sandor Liezen-Mayer. In the Autumn of 1891 he made his first journey to Italy, with stays in Florence and Rome, where he met and befriended Max Klinger. From 1892 to 1898 he lived in Munich and Leipzig. In 1898 he moved back to Rome, where he used Klinger's former studio, and where he remained until 1915. Greiner's works are based on careful graphic preparation and in particular on accurate life drawing. The nude was central to his interests; like Klinger he saw it as the epitome of beauty in nature and believed it should serve as a basis for all stylistic formation. Among his recurrent themes, along with some portraiture, were antique and fantastic subjects. He was awarded "honorable mention" at the Universal Exposition of 1900. Unfortunately Greiner's original drawings are off the scales as far as price so one of little means has to settle for reproductions. This is a commercial reproduction of one of Greiner's drawings, but regardless, it is a beautiful work of art.

Caption: Seated Male Nude
Artist: Otto Greiner (1869-1916)
Medium: Offset Lithographic Print
Dated: undated

Here are just a few of Greiner's beautiful figural works:

Unknown Artist: Male Nude - 18th Century Engraving

Unfortunately there is no decipherable artist signature on this 18th century print. The publisher is listed as G.M. Preisler in the plate but beyond that I do not have any information about the origin, most probably German or French in origin. It is printed on thin hand-made paper. It was most probably intended as an educational tool for art students to copy. Enjoy.
Caption: Male Nude with Staff
Artist: Unknown (Published by G. M. Preisler)
Medium: Intaglio Print on Laid Paper
Dated: Undated, circa 1750 - 1790

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fritz Burkhard (1900-1983) Nude Boy Reclining Pencil drawing

This little drawing came from a seller in Germany. It is from the artist's estate. There is a certain energy to the artist's line which caught my eye. The drawing has been cut down for some reason unknown to me that really damages the image as far as I am concerned. Anyway, It is a nice little drawing for not a lot of money. Fritz Burkhardt (1900-1983) trained with Adolph Schinnerer at the Munich Art Academy. He co-founded the Franconian Artists' League. Burkhardt's drawings are expressive and veristic (don't hold back, warts and all) with very strong erotic overtures. (He and George Gross would have made great roommates). He depicted the world of prostitution with no holds barred. Many of the models who sat for him were prostitutes and his studies of their bodies were replete in uncompromising realism.

Caption: Nude Boy, reclining
Artist: Fritz Burkhardt (1900-1983)
Medium: Pencil on Paper (from the artist's estate)
Dated: circa 1929

Here are a few examples of Burkhardt's works:

Paul-Edme Lerat (1849-1892) Male Nudes "Le Reveal D'Adam" and "Genie" Engravings


Caption: Genie Gardant Le Secret de la Tombe
Artist: Rene Saint-Marceaux (1845-1915)
Medium: Intaglio Print (Engraving)
Dated: circa mid-19th century
If you are quick of the eye regarding beauty in this electronic age, you can pick up some little gems of artworks for a few dollars. These little engravings are a good example. They come from the middle 19th century and actually represents the work of three fine artists: Paul Edme Lerat (1849-1892) and the French sculptors Horace Daillion (1854-1937), and Rene de saint-Marceaux (1845-1915). Instant culture, if you please, and a bit of high culture commercialism. Paul-Edme Lerat was a French etcher and the author of interpretative works of other artists in the mid-19th century. He was born in Paris and was taught by Lecoq de Boisbaldran and L. Gaucherel. He exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1869. This is Lerat's interpretation of Daillion's sculpture "The Reveal of Adam." and Saint-Marceaux's sculpture "Genie Gardant le Secret de la Tombe" . Daillion and Saint-Marteaux produced some very fine public sculptures during their careers.

Caption: Le Reveal d'Adam ...after the Daillion sculpture
Artist: Paul-Edme Lerat (1849-1892)
Medium: Intaglio print on paper (engraving)
Dated: undated (circa pre-1892)

Here are a few examples of Lerat's works and the works of Horace Daillion:

Paul-Edme Lerat (1849-1892) Philipon Louis de la Madeleine

Paul-Edme Lerat (1849-1892) La Vierge a l'Enfant .. 1878

Horace Daillion (1854-1937): Portrait Bust of Louis Pasteur

Horace Daillion (1854-1937): Arora... 1890

Horace Daillion (1854-1937): Le Triomphe

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Unknown Artist - Nude Girls - Charcoal On Paper

These three small sketches of adolescent females were in the bottom of a drawer in my print cabinet. Each of them has an embossed stamp in the lower right hand corner which reads " Estate of CCC 1856-1937." I am sure the original receipt for them is around here somewhere but it will have to be found when I have more time. They are unusual in the fact that the subject matter (adolescent females) is so rarely seen. Why, is any one's guess, perhaps the prevailing mores of the times or some other unknown reason. What ever the reason it did not seem to be applicable for nudes of adolescent boys. You see them quite regularly as artistic subject matter. Honestly, I had forgotten I had these and only found them when I went looking for something else today. There is still a lot stuff in those drawers so I guess I had better make time to look through them more thoroughly. These are quick thirty minute studies but still quite nice as studies go. Enjoy

Caption: Nude Girl
Artist: Initials CCC (1856 - 1937)
Medium: Charcoal on Paper
Dated: circa 1900 - 1910

18th Century Pen & Ink Male Nude Drawing - Artist Unknown

Here is another pen and ink drawing in my collection. I found it sequestered in a drawer in the print cabinet. It is signed, but for the life of me I cannot read the signature. It appears to be a quick study of a reclining male nude. Beyond that, I do not have any further information where it originated.
Caption: Male Nude
Artist: Signature Illegible
Medium: Pen & Ink on paper
Dated: undated, circa 1760

H. Albrecht - Austrian Student Sketch Book 1917

I was rummaging around in a large English oak print cabinet I have this afternoon and came across an Austrian sketch book from 1917. The large majority of works you run across from the 19th century while setting up a comprehensive collection of academic works are single page drawings. It is very seldom you run across an almost full sketch book of nudes. It is more common for some Antiques dealer to break the book apart and sell the individual drawings singularly. The artist who produced this sketchbook was H. Albrecht, a student at a private Atelier or Academe in Vienna in 1917. Although not the best technically, they are interesting in that you get to see what was going into student sketch books at the turn of the last century. The album measures 10.25 inches by 12.5 inches. Unfortunately I do not have any biographical information on this artist. Enjoy.

Anonymous Female Nude - 1890 - 1900 Oil on Canvas

This beautiful female nude is not in my collection but I would certainly like to have had it. Whenever I find a beautiful example of an achademic nude, male or female, regardless of whether or not they are in my collection, I would like to post them for your enjoyment. This is an anonymous late 19th century example that is currently up for auction in Europe at an auction house in Bamberg, Germany. Some very nice brush work. Enjoy.