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


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

HANS TICHY (1861-1925) - IMPRESSIONIST WATERCOLORS - MUTTER MIT KIND (Mother and Child) circa 1890-1900 - SITZENDER KNABE AM UFER (Boy Sitting on the Shore)

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Call me irresponsible, call be a hopeless romantic, call me a yellow cab.........but I love these sappy romantic "Mother and Nude Child"....."Nude Boy on the Shore".....artworks...........honestly if the seller had listed this first watercolor as "Madonna and Child Sitting in a Rowboat I would not even have blinked an eye. To me that image just reeks of religious iconography but it is also a testimony to the artist's wonderful skills in a medium we all know is not easily conquered.......watercolor. The same seller also listed another watercolor by the same artist titled: "Nude Boy Sitting on the Shore," both of which are well beyond the contents of my humble purse. The biographical information of the artist was listed as follows in the auction listing:

           "Hans Tichy. Austrian. painter. born 1861 in Brno, died 1925 in Vienna. Studied from 1880 at the Vienna Academy under C. Griepenkerl and A.Eisenmenger, and then from 1889 to 1891 at the special school for history painting with LC Müller. He studied in Rome from 1891. From 1914 he became a full Professor at the Vienna Academy. From 1921/1922 he headed a special school for painting. He had study trips to Germany, Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. In 1890 he received a gold medal in painting and in 1908 the State Reichelpreis- in October 1926 he founded a memorial exhibition at the Vienna Secessionist. From 1895 he was a member of the Vienna Künstlerhaus. From 1897 to 1925 member of the Vienna Sezession." Enjoy....................

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Unknown Artist Academie Julian, Paris - Academic Studies of Nude Boys - Circa 1890-1900

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A seller in Paris listed two late 19th century academic studies of a nude boys from the Academie Julien at a ridiculously low price and I grabbed them for my collection. They are unsigned but do have the Academie Julien stamp on the back.
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Title: Academic Studies of Nude Boys
Artist: Unknown
Medium: Charcoal on laid paper
Dated: Undated - Circa 1890-1900

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Tantalus" - Attributed to Giovanni Battista Langetti

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Kunsthaus Lempertz, Koln, DE has listed a beautiful mythological figure study in their current Old Masters catalog titled "Tantalus" attributed to Giovanni Battista Langetti. Here is the catalog description of the work:


”I also saw Tantalus, tormented by the direst agonies. He stood amidst a pool, his chin lapped by the waves, and though he gasped with thirst, still he could not drink. For as the old man knelt down to taste the cool waters, in that moment they would seep away, leaving only black sand around his feet, dried out by a hostile demon. Around him grew trees so heavy with sweet pears, pomegranates, figs and green olives that their branches were weighed down and hung around his head. But as the old man reached up to pick the fruit, in that moment they were swept away by a sudden storm and carried up into the gathering clouds.” 

Thus Homer described the fate of Tantalus in his Odyssey (from the German, book 11, 582-592), and the myth is illustrated in this form by the present work.
Tantalus, who is usually said to be the son of Zeus and the Nymph Plouto, was a rich and powerful Lydian (or Phrygian) King. He was invited to dine at the God's table, but stole nectar and ambrosia from them. When the Gods later attended one of Tantalus' banquets - the second time such an event had occurred - he killed and cooked his youngest son Pelops and fed him to the Gods without their knowing. However, the Gods noticed this atrocity and punished him with the eternal torment of withheld nourishment.

The style of this work is particularly reminiscent of the work of Giovanni Battista Langetti, an Italian late Baroque painter and main proponent of Tenebrism. He was first active in Genoa together with Gioacchino Assereto, and later in Rome and Venice. Langetti favoured dramatic scenes with both mythological and religious heroes, who are usually depicted in the foreground under stark lighting. Comparative works include “Cato” (Eremitage, St. Petersburg), ”The Good Samaritan“ (Holbourne Museum, Bath) and “Joseph Interpreting the Pharaoh's Dream”, which is known in various versions. This composition shows strong stylistic references to Genoan conventions, and illustrates the same myth in a similar arrangement and style as a painting by Assereto (made ca. 1630/40, now kept in the Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand), with whose work Langetti could have been familiar."
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Here are just a few examples of his large body of works:

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

RICHARD WINTERNITZ (1861-1928): Two Boys Bathing in a Stream 1909

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Van Ham Kunstaucktionen, Koln, DE has a nice figure study of two boys playing in a stream by Richard Winternitz (1861-1928) listed in their Fall Auction catalog. Unfortunately I could find scant biographic information on the artist.

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Here are a few examples of his other works:
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Artist's Wife


Im Sommer. Drei Jungen im Ruderboot, 1907



The Letter


Friday, October 17, 2014

Félix Vallotton (1865 Lausanne - 1925 Paris) "La Tunisienne" - Nude Female Study

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I must apologize for the sparsity of postings lately. I flew out to Colorado Springs to spend some time with my youngest son and meet a new addition to his family. I now know why having children is for the young. The weather was beautiful and the view of the Rocky Mountains was breathtaking. Now it's back to the daily grind.

Auktionshaus Geble in Germany has a beautiful study of a female nude by the French painter Felix Valotton (1865-1925) titled "La Tunisienne" listed in their current catalog. The painting is signed and dated 1884 and was painted in Atelier Julien where Vallotton studied under Boulanger and Lefebvre. The painting has a long and distinguished pedigree. If you have an extra 50,000 Euros lying around then that will get the bidding started. Enjoy:
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Unknown 19th Century German Artist: Nude Male Youth Posed As Pan

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Auktionshaus Mars, Wurzburg, DE has listed a nice study of a male youth posed as Pan with all the trappings of his office. Unfortunately, the painting is not signed and comes from some unknown mid to late 19th German art school. Enjoy.
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918): Der Frühling. Fassung IV (Spring – Version IV). Circa 1912.

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All you collectors out there with really deep pockets might want to take a walk over to Koller Auktionen AG, Zurich for a chance to take home an original Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918) painting, version IV of Der Fruhling (Spring). The bidding starts some where in the stratosphere at Euro 3 million five hundred thousand. The painting has a provenance as long as your arm and most likely will end up in some museum somewhere. One can dream.
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