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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.


Piet Ouborg | Five figures, oil on canvas, 49.5 x 77.5 cm, executed ca. 1954

Piet Ouborg

painting • for sale

Five figures

Johannes Josephus Destrée | A polder landscape with figures, oil on panel, 28.8 x 43.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1878

Johannes Josephus Destrée

painting • for sale

A polder landscape with figures

Titus Leeser | The Newspaper Reader, bronze, 40.3 x 17.6 cm, signed with monogram on the base and executed in 1967

Titus Leeser

statue • sculptuur • for sale

The Newspaper Reader

Teun van Staveren | Male nude, bronze, 75.5 x 15.5 cm, signed with monogram on lower leg and dated '08

Teun van Staveren

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Male nude

Mari Andriessen | Elizabeth of Hungary, bronze, 18.7 x 14.5 cm, executed ca. 1970-1972

Mari Andriessen

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Elizabeth of Hungary

Kees Verkade | Joie Exuberante II, bronze, 51.5 x 31.0 cm, signed on the base and dated 2007

Kees Verkade

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Joie Exuberante II

Jan Hendrik Verheijen | The poultry market, oil on canvas, 64.7 x 54.9 cm, signed l.l. and zonder lijst

Jan Hendrik Verheijen

painting • for sale

The poultry market

Tim Brown | Sister, oil on panel, 60.7 x 43.5 cm, signed l.l. with initials

Tim Brown

painting • for sale


Tim Brown | Windy day, acrylic on panel, 38.0 x 40.0 cm, signed l.r. with initials

Tim Brown

painting • for sale

Windy day

Carl Eduard Ahrendts | Winter landscape with many figures on a frozen river, oil on canvas, 39.4 x 52.5 cm, signed l.l.

Carl Eduard Ahrendts

painting • for sale

Winter landscape with many figures on a frozen river

Andrei Cambi | The shepherdess ( a pair with the accordeonist), marble, 132.0 x 54.0 cm, dated 1890

Andrei Cambi

statue • sculptuur • for sale

The shepherdess ( a pair with the accordeonist)

Adrianus Eversen | Sunny town view with a city gate, oil on panel, 13.1 x 18.0 cm, signed l.r. with monogram

Adrianus Eversen

painting • for sale

Sunny town view with a city gate

Jits Bakker | Rodeo, bronze, 82.5 x 67.5 cm, gesigneerd op basis

Jits Bakker

statue • sculptuur • for sale


Marcel Cosson | Bar scene, oil on board, 46.0 x 38.0 cm, signed l.l.

Marcel Cosson

painting • for sale

Bar scene

Kees Verkade | A gift for life, bronze, 26.5 x 30.0 cm, signed on the base and dated 2010

Kees Verkade

statue • sculptuur • for sale

A gift for life

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek | Skaters in a winter landscape, oil on panel, 15.5 x 19.5 cm, signed l.c. with initials and painted  jaren '30

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek

painting • for sale

Skaters in a winter landscape

Johannes Franciscus Spohler | Activity in a Dutch street, oil on canvas, 45.4 x 35.6 cm, signed l.l. and geen lijst

Johannes Franciscus Spohler

painting • for sale

Activity in a Dutch street

Jan Rijlaarsdam | The Leidsestraat in Amsterdam, pastel and watercolour on paper, 28.2 x 20.2 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Rijlaarsdam

watercolour • drawing • for sale

The Leidsestraat in Amsterdam

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

Andries Scheerboom | Daily activities in a Dutch town, oil on canvas, 53.5 x 66.6 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1856

Andries Scheerboom

painting • for sale

Daily activities in a Dutch town

Charles Leickert | A river landscape in summer, oil on panel, 25.0 x 40.0 cm, signed l.r.

Charles Leickert

painting • for sale

A river landscape in summer

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

André Broedelet | A boy blowing soap bubbles, oil on eternite, 43.0 x 30.1 cm

André Broedelet

painting • for sale

A boy blowing soap bubbles

Lodewijk Johannes Kleijn | Ice scene with skaters and sleds, oil on panel, 23.0 x 31.7 cm, signed l.r. and zonder lijst

Lodewijk Johannes Kleijn

painting • for sale

Ice scene with skaters and sleds

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

Willem Hendrik Eickelberg | A snowy forest road, oil on canvas, 45.4 x 33.4 cm, signed l.l. and zonder lijst

Willem Hendrik Eickelberg

painting • for sale

A snowy forest road

Nicolaas Riegen | Fishing boats and fisherfolk in the surf, oil on panel, 31.2 x 41.7 cm, signed l.l.

Nicolaas Riegen

painting • for sale

Fishing boats and fisherfolk in the surf