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, September 28, 2013

Franz Grassel (1861-1948): Standing Male Nude - Rear View (circa 1883)

This afternoon I managed to add a beautifully executed male nude by the German artist Franz Grassel (1861-1948) to my collection. It is executed in charcoal with white highlights and shows a finely muscled male nude from behind. Grassel is a well known genre painter who was active during the last half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He worked in a loose academic style and from what I gather had a proclivity for ducks. They appear in almost all of his paintings. He grew up on a mill at Obersasbach and one would guess that is where he acquired his fondness for the beautiful beasts. From 1878 to 1884 he studied at the Art Academy in Karlsruhe under Conrad Hope. In 1885 he became a teacher at the high school at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Strasbourg. From 1886 to 1890 he continued to make study trips to the Art Academy in Munich where he studied with Wilhelm von Lindenschmit (The Younger)(1829-1895). Grassel specialized in genre paintings and had a fondness for farm poultry. In 1900 he became the honorary chairman of the Brucker Artists Association and in 1911 he was appointed as a Royal Academy Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. During his lifetime he took Gold and Silver Medals for his works. His works are in the collections of many museums to include Berlin, Freiberg, Munich, the Bavarian State Painting Collections, Nuremberg and collections here in the United States.


Title: Standing Male Nude (Rear View)
Artist: Franz Grassel (1861-1948)
Materials: Charcoal on Paper with white chalk highlights
Dated: Signed and dated "83"

Here are a few examples of his other works:


Monday, September 23, 2013

Unknown Artist: Standing Female Nude - Illegibly Initialed and dated 1906

Well here is another one that I missed in online bidding. This time a double sided drawing with a nice female nude on one side and a nearly finished male nude on the reverse. It is illegibly initialed but dated 1906.  

Wilhelm Schmidt (?) - German Artist: Standing Nude Male Youth - 1899

I recently paid a visit to Adonis Art International, a London based gallery specializing in mostly contemporary male nudes of a particular persuasion. Occasionally they will list a 19th century academic nude that fits well into my collecting purview. Ninety-nine percent of their offerings have no personal interest for me but once in a great while I will find an academic nude gem that I can afford. They currently have two 19th century academic drawings by an unidentified German artist named Wilhelm Schmidt, unknown German Academy, listed on their site. I could afford only one of the drawings so I chose the standing nude male youth, signed and dated 1899. It seems to be more technically executed than the other listing of a seated male nude. Needless to say getting biographic information on an artist with a common name like Schmidt is not an easy task. I will have to do some additional research and see if I can find some basic information on this particular Schmidt. German artists Hans Wilhelm Schmidt (1859-1940) and Wilhelm Schmidt (?) are two likely candidates. The condition of the drawing is somewhat problematic but the central figure is without damage and careful matting can preserve the drawing for display. Still a beautifully executed male nude from an unknown German art school by a yet identified German artist. I will scan and photograph it when it arrives and post more details without the gallery watermark.

Title: Standing Nude Male Youth
Artist: Wilhelm Schmidt (?)
Materials: Pierre noire on paper
Dated: Signed W. Schmidt - dated "2 G.V. 99"
Here is the other male nude listed on their site: