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, August 11, 2012

Karl Sterrer (1885-1972): Abschied (Farewell) - Lithograph circa 1920

I was browsing the print section of eBay Austria this morning and I discovered this beautiful color lithograph (look closely, it is in color) by the Austrian painter-engraver Karl Sterrer (1885-1972) titled "Abschied" (Farewell), circa 1920. I think as a kid my first "artistic love" was the print. Occasionally I will run across a print that really gets my attention and this one did the trick for me this morning. Karl Sterrer studied at the Art Academy of Vienna under August Delug at the turn of the century. He was very adept at landscapes and portraits in the graphic media. Sterrer took the Prix de Rome in 1908 and was in on the beginnings of German Expressionism. When someone points out that an artist took the prestigious Prix de Rome, then be impressed my friends. You could not be an artistic slouch and take that prize. In 1921 he accepted the post of Professor of Fine Arts at the Art Academy of Vienna. Enjoy. 

Melina Eudoxie Daviau (1874-1961): Academic Male Nudes 1900-1907

The three Daviau drawings arrived from France last week. I swear, I have to hold my breath for two weeks while these packages make their way from Europe to me. I warn the sellers to securely package the drawings and use the American format address because the Post Office here has a long history of losing and destroying poorly wrapped drawings and you just have to hope the seller is not lazy or worse. I pinned the drawings to the wall in the computer room (last two photographs)and one day I will have to buy frames for them. They really are well executed drawings. The line technique Daviau used is really different from many of the other drawings of the same time period. Up close you see these big contour following line strokes but as you pull back away from the drawing, the drawings become more sculptural and less like drawings. The human eye does all the work in making the drawings come alive at the optimal viewing distance.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Niels Lindberg (1886-1974): Nude Male Youth - Watercolor Study

Self Portrait of the Artist as a young man (above)
A seller on eBay Germany has listed one of those rare academic nude watercolors I keep raving about, in this case a nude male youth. The work is by the well listed Danish portrait and landscape painter Niels Lindberg (1886-1974). I think the interesting thing about this work is the complete lack of background. The artist has chosen to solely concentrate on the subject's figure and ignore the background. The work, according to the seller, dates from the 1920-40 time period.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Unknown German School: Standing Male Nude Holding a Staff - Circa 1830

This beautifully preserved example of early 19th century academic painting popped up on one of the European auction sites this morning. It dates from circa 1830 and originates from an unknown German Academie. It is a very nice example of early 19th century painting techniques.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Etienne Adolphe Piot (1850-1910): Academic Male Nudes on Canvas

When I spotted this work of the very talented Etienne Adolphe Piot (1850-1910) on eBay France and took in that obviously avoidable damage, I had to catch my breath. What a shame someone could not have taken better care of such a beautiful example of late 19th century academic painting. With enough money and a very talented restoration specialist, this beautiful work could be brought back to life and very near original condition. As I look at the bearded figure on the right, I can turn around and see a charcoal drawing of the very same model hanging on my wall. This muscular specimen of manhood was obviously a very popular model in the Ateliers of late 19th century Paris. Piot was a French genre painter who is most known for his sappy female portraits. He was a student of Leon Cogniet at his Paris Atelier in the late 1870's. I would wager this painting dates from that time period. Cogniet instilled a love of the human body in the young Piot. Piot debuted in the Paris Salon of 1880 and three years later he made his first showing at the Societaire des Artistes Francais.

Robert Freisz (XX Cent.): General to Specific - Not The Other Way Around!

When I spotted this little drawing on eBay France this morning I got a little chuckle out of it. I am sure if you have ever taken an introductory drawing or painting class you have fond memories of the instructor walking around the room shouting: "General to specific, people! General to specific!" If my French is correct, then the young boy behind that drawing board must have gotten one of the model's central attributes a little more specific than the instructor called for. Apparently the model's male appendage impressed the young man so much that he got carried away with the resultant detail.

I couldn't find much biographical information on Robert Freisz (?) , but according to the listing he was active during the first half of the 20th century.