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Figures paintings subject • artists • artworks for sale figures in fine art

Figures can be farmers or fishermen, a child or baby figure, a portrait or a nude. The latter was both a loaded and beloved subject. Actually, nudes were portrayed from the Middle Ages, for example in depictions of Adam and Eve or Danaë, later made famous by Rembrandt. From the Renaissance onwards, mythological depictions were a permissible way of painting nudes. It was usually about the woman, because with or without clothes around the body she was traditionally a popular artistic theme. After classical antiquity, the man was depicted much less naked. Until the 18th century, it was possible to depict the female nude freely in the Netherlands, provided in an allegorical or historical context or in farcical, contemporary representations. Due to new ideas about what was proper, the subject increasingly faded into the background. The female nude was no longer allowed to be seen outside the bedroom.

Idealized, proper and decent
Because of this strict morality, the female nude was rarely painted in the first half of the 19th century. If so, the artists followed the academy's rules for portraying idealized, feminine beauty. At the academies, students drew from plaster casts of classical statues, and until well into the 19th century, the female live nude model was banned from the classrooms. Women were mainly depicted in their role as mothers, taking care of their children or knitting, handcrafting or daydreaming in an interior.

The living female nude model
In the second half of the 19th century, the rules relaxed somewhat. Nude models were now allowed at academies and imperfections were also allowed to be painted. The emotion and personal impression of the painter were considered important. Bathers were a good excuse for painters to paint nudes. Henri Fantin-Latour, painter of many portraits, painted countless nudes. The way of portraying was often dreamy, the light diffused, creating an aesthetic distance between the nude and the viewer. The taboo was still deeply rooted.

The pure, bare reality
It was the Amsterdam painter G.H. Breitner who consciously wanted to break the taboo with his smoothly painted, realistic nudes. He used models he picked up from the street, often working class women with red hands from the rough work they did. Contemporaries' opinions on his paintings ranged from daring to obscene. Isaac Israels and Kees Maks also devoted themselves to wide-bodied nudes, although they were portrayed more delicately and less 'undressed' than those of Breitner.

Love and emotion
In the 20th century, the nude in any form or pose has been widely accepted. In response to industrialization and urbanization, the German Expressionists idealized the nude in the wild. Leo Gestel and Jan Sluijters provide spectacular expressionist or luminist nudes in the Netherlands. The model is often the painter's wife. An example of this is a series of nudes by George Grosz, one of the most important artists of German Expressionism of the early 20th century. After a period of heavy social criticism and series of raw drawings and paintings, he left Berlin in 1933 and emigrated with his wife and children to the United States. There he made numerous nude portraits of his wife, Eva Louise Peter. None of the rawness of his early nudes can be found in these paintings and drawings. They testify to the painter's deep love for his model.


Barend Cornelis Koekkoek | Forest view with cattle, oil on panel, 69.1 x 90.2 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1853

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek

painting • for sale

Forest view with cattle, 1853

Johannes Franciscus Spohler | Daily activities in a sunlit street, oil on canvas, 44.3 x 35.3 cm, signed l.r.

Johannes Franciscus Spohler

painting • for sale

Daily activities in a sunlit street

Constant P. Boon | The flirtation, oil on panel, 62.1 x 52.9 cm, signed l.l. and dated AN '57

Constant P. Boon

painting • for sale

The flirtation, 1857

Oswald Wenckebach | Flute player, bronze, 48.5 x 21.3 cm, executed ca. 1953

Oswald Wenckebach

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Flute player, 1953

Willy Sluiter | Sky jumping, black chalk and watercolour on paper, 48.0 x 38.0 cm, signed l.l.

Willy Sluiter

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Sky jumping

Cris Agterberg | The Kiss, earthenware, 48.0 cm, gesigneerd gesigneerd en gedateerd

Cris Agterberg

statue • sculptuur • for sale

The Kiss

Jan Sluijters | St. Nicholas Eve, 1946 with chewing tobacco and Bols in the shoes, watercolour on paper, 47.5 x 32.2 cm, signed l.l. and executed 1946

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

St. Nicholas Eve, 1946 with chewing tobacco and Bols in the shoes, 1946

Charles Leickert | Crowded winter street, oil on panel, 37.2 x 28.7 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1855

Charles Leickert

painting • for sale

Crowded winter street

Cornelis Springer | Mand and woman in church interior, oil on canvas, 32.9 x 27.3 cm, signed l.l. with monogram and dated '44

Cornelis Springer

painting • for sale

Mand and woman in church interior, 1844

Herman Brood | The confessional, felt-tip pen on paper, 29.0 x 38.8 cm, signed l.c. and dated 1992

Herman Brood

watercolour • drawing • for sale

The confessional, 1992

Adrianus Eversen | Sonnige Straße mit Figuren, oil on panel, 19.1 x 14.5 cm, signed l.l. with monogram

Adrianus Eversen

painting • for sale

Sonnige Straße mit Figuren

Henri Evrard | Pierrot, oil on panel, 35.8 x 26.2 cm, signed u.l. and dated '85

Henri Evrard

painting • for sale


Barend Cornelis Koekkoek | Riverside travelers by a castle, washed ink on paper, 18.0 x 27.5 cm

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Riverside travelers by a castle

Adolf Stademann | Skaters on a frozen waterway, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 33.5 x 46.2 cm, signed l.l.

Adolf Stademann

painting • for sale

Skaters on a frozen waterway

Co Westerik | Together at the table, watercolour on paper, 16.0 x 22.0 cm, signed l.c. and dated june 1972

Co Westerik

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Together at the table, 1972

Pieter d'Hont | The Conversation, bronze, 55.0 x 36.0 cm, executed in 1960

Pieter d'Hont

statue • sculptuur • for sale

The Conversation

Louis Abel-Truchet | Le soir au café, oil on canvas, 48.5 x 29.4 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1905

Louis Abel-Truchet

painting • for sale

Le soir au café, ca. 1905

George Martens | Kattendiep, evening, oil on panel, 31.0 x 42.5 cm, signed on the reverse and painted ca. 1925

George Martens

painting • for sale

Kattendiep, evening, ca. 1925

François Namur | Putting up the hair, oil on canvas, 74.6 x 47.6 cm, signed l.r.

François Namur

painting • for sale

Putting up the hair

Louis Meijer | Mountain landscape with figures, oil on canvas, 67.4 x 84.7 cm, signed c.l.

Louis Meijer

painting • for sale

Mountain landscape with figures

Jean Béraud | Les Midinettes, oil on painter's board, 54.9 x 36.7 cm, signed l.l.

Jean Béraud

painting • for sale

Les Midinettes

Marcel Cosson | After the theater, oil on panel, 55.1 x 46.1 cm, signed l.l. and painted in 1920

Marcel Cosson

painting • for sale

After the theater, 1920

Otto Eerelman | Horse-drawn sleigh in a town, oil on canvas, 60.3 x 90.3 cm, signed l.l.

Otto Eerelman

painting • for sale

Horse-drawn sleigh in a town

Josje van Riemsdijk | Masai man with a fish, bronze, 39.0 x 13.5 cm, signed on the base and executed ca. 1980

Josje van Riemsdijk

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Masai man with a fish, ca. 1980

Sierk Schröder | Crouched nude, chalk on paper, 35.8 x 35.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated '82

Sierk Schröder

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Crouched nude, 1982

Jan Rijlaarsdam | Street with figures, oil on canvas, 60.3 x 51.4 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Rijlaarsdam

painting • for sale

Street with figures

Albert Roelofs | Oil study of figures and a playing child, oil on panel, 16.9 x 22.4 cm

Albert Roelofs

painting • for sale

Oil study of figures and a playing child

Corneille | Le Chemin d'un Philosophe, watercolour and gouache on newspaper, 34.2 x 22.1 cm, signed u.l. and dated '47


painting • for sale

Le Chemin d'un Philosophe, 1947