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, June 22, 2012

Johann Sperl (1840-1914): Early Academic Nudes


Portrait of the artist (above)
A seller on eBay Austria has listed a nicely executed series of early works by the German artist Johann Sperl (1840-1914) at what has to be prices on the "very dear" level. He trained early on as a lithographer and colorist. In the winter of 1858-59 he attended drawing classes at the Nurnberger Kunstgewerbeschule under August von Kreling, a versatile history painter and sculptor. It was during this time that Sperl met the painters Rudolf Hirth du Frenes and Theodor Alt and in 1865 the three artists became members of the Leibl-Circle in Munich. Sperl later became director of the Lithographic Institution in 1863. In the spring of 1865 he joined the painting classes of history painter Hermann Anschutz at the Munich Academy. He also studied under Karl von Piloty, a well known history painter, and in 1866, under Arthur von Ramberg.

Here is a sampling of his mature genre paintings:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) Wood Block Print: David At The Decisive Moment

I realize this is not a nude but still it is a beautiful late 19th century-early 20th century figurative composition and the depiction of the subject matter is something I have seldom seen. The auction listing simply describes it as "Jugendstil Bilderrahmen mit Holzschnitt J√ľngling" but to my eye it is a depiction of Biblical David standing at that monumental moment of decision, patiently waiting for the opportune moment to strike. Most depictions of David (good versus evil) show a triumphant youth standing over the severed head of Goliath but here we have a lone youth, vulnerable, yet powerful in that contemplative moment of decision. The composition is full of movement yet the central figure is calm, cool, and collected in his self-assurance of his coming victory.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Workshop of Bartholomeo Schedoni (1578-1615): Two Variations of "Young St. John"

Hampel Fine Art Auctions, Munich has also listed these two religious studies of the Young St. John attributed to the circle of Bartholomeo Schedoni (1678-1615) in their current auction catalog. One of these days I am going to collect all the illustrations of the "Young St. John" I have collected from various sources over the years and post them. I think you will be surprised at the number of ways a nude boy can be posed as the young saint.

18th Century Italian Painter: Adonis

Hampel Fine Art Auctions, Munich, DE has recently listed this nicely executed male figure study titled "Adonis" in their current auction catalog. The attribution is simply listed as "18th Century Italian Painter." It really is a beautiful study of the male physique in oils on canvas.