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, November 24, 2010

Anonymous Academic Study: Christ on the Cross - circa 1790-1800

Addendum: I finally found the reference to the nude sculpture of Christ that I mentioned in the post below. The sculpture is indeed not in the Vatican but is in the Escorial in Spain. The white marble of the nude Christ is by Cellini.
The photo appears in the small paperback book "How to Look at Sculpture" by David Finn, Publisher, Harry Abrams, New York, 1989... ISBN: 0-8109-2412-9 .... Call number: NB1142.5.F5 1989


This drawing is so unusual I thought I would go ahead and post it. I have spent the last several days going over literally hundreds of pages of auction listings from various European auction houses pulling out academic nudes and compositions featuring the nude and I will be listing what I found in my next post but this drawing really got my attention. Outside of a sculpture of Christ on the Cross in the Vatican that I discovered in a book on sculpture, I do not ever recall seeing a frontally exposed (although with a modestly sized member) Christ on the Cross. Ordinarily the models of Christ are all modestly clothed with a loin cloth covering the royal genitalia but this Christ is fully exposed and even has his foreskin intact. Very unusual find. It is not signed but dates from the 1790 to 1800 time period from Europe.

Caption: Christ on the Cross
Artist: unsigned
Material: pierre noire on paper
Dated: 1790-1800

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ludwig von Hoffman (1861-1945) Badende Knaben - Bathing Boys - Pastels 1912

I was cruising around my usual European Auction House haunts today and came across this beautiful work by Ludwig von Hoffman (1861-1945). It is done in pastels and has a beautiful period frame. It dates from around 1912 and is of one of von Hoffman's favorite subjects, bathing nude youths. If you have an extra Euro 8,500.00 plus auction fees to toss around you might want to add it to your collection. My ship is overdue and hasn't come in yet so I will have to make do with a jpeg file. I have seen a lot of von Hoffman's works but I do not recall ever seeing this particular work before. The nice folks at Schmidt Kunstauktionen Dresden speak fluent English and would be more than happy to help you with your bid on this beautiful work of art and investment. The landscape composition and placement of the nude youths within that landscape is so beautiful. That flowing use of almost abstract shapes of light and dark colors adds to the overall movement of the composition. I love the circular concentric flow of the marks he makes on the entire composition. The hand of a great master.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jacques-Alexandre Chantron (Nantes, 1842 – 1918) Female Nudes

This nice female nude study (obviously a working drawing considering the scaleup grid) is currently up for sale on eBay France. Jaques-Alexandre Chantron (1842-1918) was a student of Pirot, Bouguereau, and Robert Fleury in Paris during the latter part of the 19th century. He submitted works with a religious theme to the Paris Salon in 1877 and later won an honorable mention with his submission in 1893. The major theme of his works seemed to be the female nude, mostly concealed under mythological and religious pretext. Later on his nudes were done in the manner of his mentor, Bouguereau. His works are in the public collections of many museums throughout France.

Caption:Jeune modiste nue dressee sur la pointe des pied essaye un chapeau sur un mannequin Artist: Jaques-Alexandre Chantron (1842-1918)
Medium: working drawing, pencil on paper
Dated: undated, circa 1890-1900
Here are several examples of Chantron's figurative works:

French School - Anonymous Student - Atelier Appian- Male Nude

This beautiful 19th century drawing came into my collection from a Southey's auction years ago. Although unsigned by the artist, it does bear the stamp of the Atelier l'Appian in the lower right hand quadrant. Adolphe Appian (1818-1898) studied at the Ecole de Dessin et Beaux-Arts in Lyon, Framce where he was taught by Jean-Michel Grobon (1770-1853). In 1851 he debuted at the Salon of Lyon with three paintings. He studied in Paris later and befriended Camile Corot and Charles Francis Daubigny, who both influenced his work. In 1868 he received a gold medal at the Paris Salon.

Caption: Standing Male Nude
Artist: Unknown, Student Atelier Appian (Studio stamp lower right)
Medium: Conte on Paper
Dated: circa 1870
Here is an example of Adolphe Appian's work:

Rene Leverd (1872-1938) Female Nude

eBay France currently has several listings for works by Rene Leverd including the below listed drawing. Leverd came from a family of artists, his own father, Leon Alfred Leverd, was a portraitist and painter of still life's. Rene Leverd exhibited his works early in life, nineteen years old, when he received a silver medal at the Salon of French artists. Leverd specialized in watercolor. He was a technically talented draftsman and his works show the technical control he had over his medium.


Caption: Une Jeune femme nue debout puisant de l'eau a la fountaine
Artist: Rene Leverd (1872-1938)
Medium: gaouche/pencil on paper
Dated: 1900
Here are a few examples of Leverd's beautiful technical watercolors: