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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.


Marcel Cosson | After the ballet performance, oil on canvas, 50.2 x 61.0 cm, signed l.r.

Marcel Cosson

painting • for sale

After the ballet performance

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek | Skaters in a winter landscape, oil on panel, 15.5 x 19.5 cm, signed l.c. with initials and painted ca. 1830

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek

painting • for sale

Skaters in a winter landscape

Jules Chapon | Nice day for love, oil on canvas, 89.4 x 116.0 cm, signed u.l. and dated '67

Jules Chapon

painting • for sale

Nice day for love

Johan Dijkstra | Harvesting farm workers, oil on board laid down on panel, 35.7 x 62.8 cm

Johan Dijkstra

painting • for sale

Harvesting farm workers

Jan van der Baan | The city hall of Groningen, 1959, oil on canvas, 50.4 x 70.1 cm, signed l.r. and dated '59

Jan van der Baan

painting • for sale

The city hall of Groningen, 1959

Leo Gestel | Man and woman with a horseman in the background, gouache on paper, 37.2 x 27.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1928

Leo Gestel

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Man and woman with a horseman in the background

Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig | Gleaner working the field, oil on canvas, 39.2 x 60.4 cm

Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig

painting • for sale

Gleaner working the field

Willem Roelofs | The 't Hoog- en Groenland mill, Baambrugge, oil on canvas, 46.9 x 72.9 cm, signed l.r.

Willem Roelofs

painting • for sale

The 't Hoog- en Groenland mill, Baambrugge

Jan Weissenbruch | A walk in a sunny city, oil on panel, 19.0 x 14.9 cm, signed l.r.

Jan Weissenbruch

painting • for sale

A walk in a sunny city

Hermanus Koekkoek | Ships anchored off the coast in calm weather, oil on canvas, 102.5 x 160.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1841

Hermanus Koekkoek

painting • for sale

Ships anchored off the coast in calm weather

Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek | Shipping off the coast, oil on canvas, 57.3 x 72.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1831

Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek

painting • for sale

Shipping off the coast

Karel Appel | Toutes ces têtes, acrylic on paper, 68.6 x 52.1 cm, signed l.l. and dated '70

Karel Appel

painting • for sale

Toutes ces têtes

Corneille | Untitled (from the Les aventures de Pinocchio series), gouache over silk screen print on paper, 68.1 x 98.7 cm, signed u.l. and dated '73-'75


watercolour • drawing • for sale

Untitled (from the Les aventures de Pinocchio series)

Johannes Evert Akkeringa | Bleaching ground behind the dunes, oil on panel, 17.5 x 31.4 cm, signed l.l.

Johannes Evert Akkeringa

painting • for sale

Bleaching ground behind the dunes

Nicolaas Riegen | Fishing boats and fisherfolk in the surf, phenolic resin, 31.2 x 41.7 cm, signed l.l.

Nicolaas Riegen

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Fishing boats and fisherfolk in the surf

J.G. Hans | Homewards after haymaking, oil on panel, 21.2 x 29.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated '47

J.G. Hans

painting • for sale

Homewards after haymaking

Lisa Whitney | Father and son, oil on canvas, 91.8 x 50.8 cm, signed l.l. and dated '37

Lisa Whitney

painting • for sale

Father and son

Frans Meijers | A view of  the Rokin in Amsterdam from the Arti building, oil on canvas, 70.1 x 60.1 cm, signed l.r.

Frans Meijers

painting • for sale

A view of the Rokin in Amsterdam from the Arti building

Hermanus Koekkoek | A strong breeze on the Dutch coast with a village ahead, oil on canvas, 37.0 x 57.7 cm, signed l.l.

Hermanus Koekkoek

painting • for sale

A strong breeze on the Dutch coast with a village ahead

JeanMarianne Bremers | 'Kom Ma', bronze, 30.0 x 19.5 cm, signed on the bottom and with monogram on the base and dated 1991

JeanMarianne Bremers

statue • sculptuur • for sale

'Kom Ma'

Kees Verkade | Exaltation, bronze, 47.3 x 9.9 cm, signed on the underside of the torso and dated '97

Kees Verkade

statue • sculptuur • for sale


Jeannette van den Ingh | Man with coat, hat and briefcase, bronze, 46.0 cm

Jeannette van den Ingh

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Man with coat, hat and briefcase

John Rockx | Activity in a port, oil on canvas, 40.1 x 60.2 cm, signed l.l.

John Rockx

painting • for sale

Activity in a port

Marius Bauer | The blind beggar, oil on canvas, 62.8 x 50.8 cm, signed l.r.

Marius Bauer

painting • for sale

The blind beggar

Kees Verkade | Study for sculpture 'l'Elan', pencil on paper, 31.0 x 24.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated sept. '96

Kees Verkade

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Study for sculpture 'l'Elan'

Johan Jorna | Retreat, bronze, 39.0 x 31.0 cm

Johan Jorna

statue • sculptuur • for sale


Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch | Fishing boats on the tide line, oil on canvas, 38.9 x 50.9 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch

painting • for sale

Fishing boats on the tide line

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