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

Monday, March 19, 2012

Einar Hein (1875-1931): Girl Sitting In A Chair -1919 - Euan Uglow (1932-2000) Nude With Green Background, 1966)

This is probably a dumb post but it struck me as a big co-inkydink, so bear with me, I have an ax to grind, so here it goes. I was browsing through German Auction site postings this morning and I ran across a portrait of a young girl sitting in a chair by the Danish artist Einar Hein (1875-1931). Just ignore the obvious non-comparison of a nude and a sitting portrait of a clothed model and concentrate on the apparent draftsmanship and artistic skills both artists possessed. When I spotted Hein's painting, I had to take a closer look at something that looked very familiar to me, it had to do with the underlying drawing and the technical application of paint to canvas. I scratched my head and pulled down that Big Book of Painting Memories in my mind and then the light went on. Inside that light bulb in my head was Euan Uglow's 1966 painting, Nude with Green Background. The overall feel of the Hein painting reminded me of Euan Uglow's works. I discovered Uglow when I was at University and really admired his draftsmanship and use of color in his nude works. If you are not familiar with Euan Uglow's work, then do some research and have a look. I think you will be pleased. He studied at the Camberwell School of Art from 1948 to 1950 and at the Slade School of Art in 1951. He was a very private person, shunned awards, and his works are just now becoming more studied. His technical ability with drawing and painting the nude was fresh and technically exciting. If you have been following this blog for any length of time you will know how much I favor the skills of technical draftsmanship. I have learned the hard way (spending hard earned money on learning how to paint at University) that the contemporary University is not doing a very good job of teaching students the skills they will need to become technically skilled, in other words, teachers can't teach what they themselves have never learned and that is because of the destruction of the Academy system by "modernism." The only way a student will learn these technical skills is to enroll in a private atelier that adheres to the strict teaching methods of the 19th century academe. I honestly feel sorry for students who enroll in universities expecting to learn the real technical aspects of painting. During one of my painting classes, I just about fell on the floor laughing when the professor walks in, looks around with this serious face, and then in the tradition of that old British TV series .... Are You Being Served, when "young Mr. Grace," comes down from on high to rally the troops, loudly announces .... "You're all doing very well!".... turns around and leaves. The poor kid standing next to me had been waiting most of the period to get some technical help. After the Professor leaves, he looks at me, in all seriousness, announces: "Welcome to the University of (Blah..blah...blah), School of Teaching Yourself To Paint." And, unbeknown to him, he had just about hit the nail on the head. The moral of this story is, for you students interested in learning the skills you will need for success, look around for an atelier that teaches the now being revived teaching skills of the 19th century. Forget about all this modernist crap about self expression and seek out a school that relies upon the tried and true 19th century Academie model. (I am stepping off my soapbox now, so back to the daily grind for me)

Portrait of a Young Girl (above) ...... Einar Hein (1875-1931)

Nude With Green Background (1966)(Above) ... Euan Uglow (1932-2000)