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 8, 2012

Unknown Italian Artist: Fishing the Whip - Bay of Naples- Two Nude Boys in a Fishing Boat - circa 1890-1900

This fun little painting of two nude boys fishing in the Bay of Naples will be on its way into my collection in a week or so. Last week I saw it listed in the current "Arts and Antiques" auction catalog of Auktionshaus Dannenburg, Berlin, DE at a reasonable starting price, so I programmed my bid and this afternoon I bought it at auction. I think what really caught my eye was that playful subject matter of boys being boys and that interesting 19th century wave frame. I love the soft pastels of the Italian light captured in oils by the artist. Way off on the horizon you can see Vesuvius making an ash of itself and on the coastline, the bulwark of Castel dell'Ovo. What a beautiful idyllic little composition of the male form in a natural landscape by an accomplished artist. Chances are it will need a good cleaning, something I can do myself. When it arrives, I will photograph it and post more detailed illustrations for you.

Addendum: (Jan. 10, 2013) Well this has become a minor ordeal. The Auction House mis-stated the shipping costs (way too low) and I had to make arrangements with a Worldwide Carrier to ship the painting from Berlin. The package finally made it out of the Auction House doors this afternoon and should be in my hands next week. I will be very cautious about buying from an Auction house in Europe from now on. With VAT (As high as 19%), Auction House buyers fees (as high as 24% of the hammer price), bloated shipping costs, and  bank funds transfer fees here in the US (35 bucks if they do the exchange rate calculation first), it just is not cost effective to buy at Auction these days. Did I mention the lousy exchange rate?  Thanks fearless leader Obama! Do not get me started on that Marxist Douche Nozzle!  I may just stick with European eBay sites and forget the Auction House circuit unless the artwork is really worth the effort. Life is a big beach and then you die....

Title: Fishing the Whip - Bay of Naples
Artist: Unknown Italian Artist
Medium: Oils on Canvas
Size: 63 cm x 38 cm
Dated: circa 1890-1900

Friday, December 7, 2012

LÉONCE JOSEPH DE JONCIERES (1871-1930): Narcisse - Nude Ephebe _ circa 1890

This painting by Leonce Joseph de Joncieres (1871-1930), titled by the seller as "Narcisse" (Narcissus), has been listed by a seller in France for a small fortune. It is in oils on paper mounted on canvas. The frame appears to be in mostly good shape in spite of the obvious damage. I would venture to say that the darker images in the listing are closer to the actual appearance of the painting than those bright flash lit photographs. A flash will always light up a dark painting and brighten the colors, much to the detriment of a potential buyer. Needless to say the painting could stand a major cleaning. Unfortunately, I could find very little information on the artist other that a few past auction reports.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Otto Greiner (1869-1916): Heliogravures - Nude Studies


Portrait of the artist 1911

If and when the list of 19th century "Old Masters" is drawn up, I will bet you a box of fresh doughnuts that Otto Greiner (1869-1916) will be at the top of the list. The man was a drawing genius when it came to the human form. I do not think there are many in the world of artistic accomplishment who could come close his talents. I was browsing my usual haunts this morning and I ran across a collection of Heliograveures of some of his finest studies listed on eBay Germany. Greiner studied initially in Leipzig, where he trained in lithography and etching. He later studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst in Munich. He traveled to Rome in 1891 where he became acquainted with Max Klinger and Kathe Kollwitz. In his definitive Grove Dictionary of Art, Sepp Kern described Greiner's tallents in terms of his favorite subject: "The nude was central to his interests, and, like Klinger, he saw the nude as the epitome of beauty in nature and believed it should be the basis for all stylistic formation."  You have to love the cooters (that's Southern US dialect for balls, testicles) on an artist who would pose nude for a portrait of himself (above). If that photo doesn't say "I'm in charge buddy, thanks for asking," then I don't know what would. My kind of guy!


Here is just a small collection of his figurative works (Below):


Addendum: While I was browsing eBay Germany, I found and bought a pristine 1925 edition of Julius Vogel's illustrated book on Otto Greiner's works, published just nine years after his death. I am sure there are illustrations in there that I have never seen so I look foward to scanning them for the blog.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Anonymous_French School: Nude Boy Standing at the Window - Late 19th Century

This nice academic study of a nude boy turned up on one of the European eBay sites this morning. It dates from a late 19th century French School and is unsigned.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Various 18th and Early 19th Century Italian Schools: Male Nudes

Cambi Casa d'Aste, Genoa, Italy has listed a nice series of academic male nudes from various 18th and early 19th century Italian Schools in their current catalog. Most are unsigned. As for myself, I would be hesitant to bid on items in Italian auction houses for the simple reason that Italian Customs makes the entire exercise a crap load of work and I would prefer to keep the hair I still have left on my head. I had an overnight shipment from Italy held up for weeks, all with the necessary export forms and approvals, by Italian customs for reasons known only to God. You can't blame them for watching their cultural heritage like hawks because so much of it has been stolen, however, beware, Italian bureaucrats move like garden slugs, require everything in triplicate, and stamped with every stamp known to mankind. It's almost that bad believe me, but just be patient and the Italian system will eventually move like a clogged drain.