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: