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, December 31, 2011

Can You Say "Appropriation" Without Smiling?


Unknown Artist (circle of Ferdinand Liebermann)... Satyr riding a Ram... carved 1900-1910


I was doing some creative browsing of German Auction Houses yesterday when I happened upon the above unsigned carved wooden figure which was listed as "circle of Hofmann." I think the Auction House may have mis-attributed the source. It doesn't take a genius to figure out where the idea of that satyr riding on a horned ram hails from. Some talented artist thought "Capricorn" by Ferdinand Liebermann was beautiful enough to do his own rendition in bronze with a little more well endowed, sexually provocative, and older male figure front and center. What a great example of artistic "appropriation."


Rosenthal ceramic figure titled "Capricorn" by Ferdinand Liebermann (1883-1941)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hermann Knottnerus-Meyer (1875 - 1945): Female Nudes . Graces. 1909


Self-Portrait of the artist..... Hermann Knottnerus-Meyer


Kunst und Akutionshaus Peter Karbstein, Dusseldorf, DE has recently listed this beautifully lyrical group of female nudes in their current Auction catalog. Hermann Knottnerus-Meyer (1875-1945) was a well known German painter and writer. He studied in Munich under the tutelage of another artist I have previously posted on here in the blog, Paul Schad-Rossa (1862-1916). He traveled extensively and had several periods of creativity during his lifetime. The auction house describes the painting as "Graces." I love the interlocking points of tension between the two figures in the foreground and those of the two figures in the background. The composition is anything but static. He became a friend and supporter of the German folk poet Hermann Lons (1866-1914). I am guessing that because of his penchant for painting mythological scenes that this painting is a depiction of "The Judgement of Paris." To my eye, that seated figure appears to be a male youth, just based upon the anatomy. Who knows?


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Edouard John Ravel (1847-1920): At The Fountain (Late 19th Century Drawing)

A seller on eBay France posted this beautiful preliminary study recently. What caught my eye was the dynamic interplay of positive and negative shapes in the composition of this genre scene of a Shepherdess and sheep taking a drink from a fountain (Bergere et ses Moutons S'Abreuvant a Une Fountaine). Edouard John Ravel (1847-1920) was an important Swiss painter who was active at the important junction of the 19th and 20th centuries. He studied at the Geneva School of Art under Alfred van Muyden (1818-1898) and Barthelemy Menn (1815-1893), who was closely linked to the French art scene. Menn was also a student of Ingres, Delacroix, and a close friend of Corot's. Ravel began his art career in Paris, exhibiting at the Paris Salon in 1879. He also participated in the Universal Exhibition of 1889. Later in his life he was President of the Swiss Society of Watercolorists and taught for 20 years at the School of Fine Arts in Geneva. As you may have guessed already, he was also the uncle of the French composer, Maurice Ravel (1875-1957).


Here is just a sampling of his fine works:


Friday, December 23, 2011

Herman Moest (1868-1945) Oils Study: Female Nude in Landscape

Here's another little gem listed on eBay Austria. It is a quick study in oils on canvas of a female nude in landscape by the well listed German artist Herman Moest (1868-1945).

Monogrammist "GK" ..... Art Deco: The Sailboat

A seller on eBay Austria recently listed this nice little painting from the Art Deco era. It certainly has an heroic quality to it based upon the overall composition and genuine "nobility" of the two subjects. It is monogrammed "GK" and not fully signed, so the artist is lost to us. Still, it is a nicely executed figure study.

New Listings at La Portantina de Mattia Jona

Our friend at La Portantina di Matta Jona, Milan, Italy has posted some new works on his new aquisitions page (below). I thought I would share them with you this morning.

Unknown German Artist (Early 17th Century): Study for a Fountain - Three Male Nudes Strangling a Snake

Pelagio Palagi (1775-1860) Neoclassical Allegory Celebrating Napoleon

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Anton Endsdorfer (1880-1960): Cupid - Nude Boy Holding a Bow

Yesterday I was putting a large book on 19th Century bronzes on the bookshelf and almost knocked this little bronze off the shelf. I had completely forgotton he was around. He has a little damage to his bow but otherwise he has a beautiful patina. I have tried to find biographical information on the artist, Austrian artist Anton Endsdorfer (Endstorfer), without much success. There are examples of his other works and I have listed them below.

Caption: Cupid (Nude Boy Holding a Bow)

Artist: Anton Endsdorfer (Endstorfer) (1880-1960)

Material: Cast Bronze

Dated: Undated (1920-1930)


Here are a few examples of his other bronze works:


Friday, December 16, 2011

(?) Neeb: Young Faun .. 1904

Here is the second small bronze that arrived yesterday. I have not been able to find any biographical information on the artist however. The bronze is signed "Neeb" and dated 1904. That is the extent of the information I can find on the artist. Stylistically, this bronze is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the "David with the head of Goliath" bronze. The young faun depicted seems to be somewhat stylized and more feminized. That's not a bad thing, it is just an observation. This bronze seems to be a bit more beat up but after a good wax and polish seems to clean up pretty well. I am not sure what causes that pose he is in, perhaps there is a bee in his tail. There seems to be a place on the top of the tail that once held a small insect. He seems to be surprised by something back there though. My guess is that his right hand on that extended right arm once held a flower and a bee was once caught in his tail. I have seen that motif in other bronzes of nude fauns. I love the little horns on his forehead and that little goat hangy thing on his neck (I think it is called a tassel). What ever has his attention has caused him to drop his pan flute, which lies at his feet. The patina on this bronze is a cross between a dark brown interspersed with a Verde Gris color.

Caption: Nude Faun

Artist: (?) Neeb

Material: Cast Bronze

Dated: 1904