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

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Reviews: Juliette Aristides : Classical Drawing Atelier and Classical Painting Atelier

Title: Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide To Traditional Studio Practice
Author: Juliette Aristides
Publisher: Watson Gupill Publications 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8230-0658-8
Call Number: ND1500.A64 2008

Title: The Classical Drawing Atelier: A Contemporary Guide To Traditional Studio Practice
Author: Juliette Aristides
Publisher: Watson-Gupill Publications 2006
ISBN: 978-0-8230-0667-1
Call Number: NC730.A68 2006

Today is book review day. I have a few books in my Art Library that specifically relate to classical 19th century methods of teaching drawing and painting in the classical tradition. Juliette Aristides gives us a tour 0f both drawing and painting techniques based upon classical training in her beautifully illustrated books. On each page she uses examples of Old Masters and respected contemporary artists to demonstrate and teach the classical methods of realist drawing and painting. If you are interested in learning from the classic techniques of the past, then give these two books a look and add them to your art library. has both of these volumes at very reasonable prices.

George Howard Hilder - Female Nude - 1905-06

Graydon Parrish ... Tragedy .... 2002

Here are two examples from the Classical Painting Atelier book:

Eugene Delacroix - Seated Female Nude, 1820

Juliette Aristedes ... Rachael ... 2002

Book Review: A Century of American Sculpture: The Roman Bronze Works Foundry

Cover page...

Pattern Shop...early 20th century

For those of you interested in bronze casting and sculptures, I can recommend adding this volume to your art library. The text includes a history of the Roman Bronze Works (RBW), a description of the casting process, and brief description of the various artists associated with the foundry along with examples of their works cast at the foundry. The RBW became the premier lost-wax foundry in the United States during the first half of the 20th century and the foundry of choice for many of the countries most famous sculptors. Riccardo Bertelli (1870-1955), along with an obscure sculptor and founder named Giuseppe Moretti, founded the RBW in 1897 in Manhattan. It was the first foundry in the U.S. to devote itself exclusively to lost-wax casting technique. RBW made casting the most intricate bronze sculpture possible by allowing for a greater clarity of detail and more complex textures. Lost-wax techniques also invited closer collaboration of the artist during the casting process. Among the first artists to be drawn to the method of casting was Frederick Remington. Another close relationship developed was between RBW and Tiffany and Company. The list of major sculptors using RBW during the 20th century included August St. Gaudens, Daniel Chester French and Thomas Eakins. The book is a little pricey and a typical publication of the Schiffer Publishing company, but worth adding to any library.

Here are but a few of the profuse illustrations:

Adolf Weinman ... Narcissus ... 1923

Thomas Eakins ... Youth Playing flute ... recast by RBW 1930

Texas War Memorial 1918

Robert Tait McKenzie - Flying Sphere ... 1919

Edward McCartan ... Diana with Hound .... 1920

Alexander Stirling Calder .. Reclining Female Nude

Alnin Polasek ... Forest Idyll ... 1930

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Maximilien Luce (1858 -1941) Academic Male Nude Portrait

Here is the third Academic Portrait currently listed on eBay France. Maximilien Luce (1858-1941) is a well listed French painter and print maker. His works hang in a number of famous French museums. The canvas has some crackle in the hair. I believe this is caused by improper application of the ground to the canvas during the canvas preparation or perhaps faulty varnish. Over time it separates and causes what you see on the canvas. Still, this is a very nice quality academic work by a well listed French master.

Here are just a few examples of his works:

The Thames at Vauxhall Bridge ... 1892

Morning Interior ....1890
Le quai Saint-Michel et Notre-Dame 1901 (Above - courtsey Musee d'Orsay, Paris)

Le Chantier ... 1911
Henri Edmond Cross ... 1898

19th Century French School - Anonymous Artist - Female Nude Portrait

Here is a second academic portrait I found on eBay France yesterday, this time a female nude. The canvas has some condition problems that could easily be fully restored by a competent restoration specialist. The canvas would have to be relined and have the torn canvas rewoven, cleaned, and have the stretcher tightened. Being a painter myself, I am always envious of fine brush work. I particularly like the beautiful brushwork in this portrait and the color palette of the flesh tones and hair. A really nice academic portrait.

Caption: Nude Female Portrait
Artist: Unknown
Medium: Oils on Canvas
Dated: ca. 1870-1890