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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.


Jan Roëde | Tulip vase, oil on canvas, 81.2 x 100.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated '74

Jan Roëde

painting • for sale

Tulip vase

Jan Roëde | Children's play, oil on canvas, 114.2 x 147.0 cm, signed u.l. and dated '75

Jan Roëde

painting • for sale

Children's play, 1975

Jan Roëde | Untitled, oil on painter's board, 35.0 x 27.0 cm, signed l.c. and executed ca. 1946-1948

Jan Roëde

painting • for sale

Untitled, ca. 1946-1948

Wijnand Nuijen | Watermill and ferry, oil on panel, 40.5 x 57.3 cm, signed l.l. and dated ca. 1835-1837

Wijnand Nuijen

painting • for sale

Watermill and ferry, ca. 1835-1837

Herman Brood | 3 Männer, watercolour on paper, 24.0 x 30.0 cm, signed l.c.

Herman Brood

watercolour • drawing • for sale

3 Männer

Lucebert | Untitled, ink and gouache on paper, 31.5 x 47.0 cm, signed l.r. and painted in 1953


watercolour • drawing • for sale

Untitled, 1953

Eugène Brands | Untitled, oil on paper, 28.2 x 30.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated 7.55

Eugène Brands

painting • for sale

Untitled, 1955

Karel Appel | Figure, lithograph, 56.5 x 38.0 cm, signed l.r. (in pencil) and '74  (in pencil)

Karel Appel

prints & multiples • for sale

Figure, 1974

Fredericus Theodorus Renard | Rural activities in a village, oil on panel, 52.1 x 63.4 cm, signed l.r.

Fredericus Theodorus Renard

painting • for sale

Rural activities in a village

Charles Leickert | Dutch winter landscape with a sledge and figures on the ice, oil on panel, 24.4 x 32.5 cm, signed l.r.

Charles Leickert

painting • for sale

Dutch winter landscape with a sledge and figures on the ice

Albert Neuhuys | A woman sewing, oil on panel, 40.1 x 31.1 cm, signed l.r.

Albert Neuhuys

painting • for sale

A woman sewing

Henri Fantin-Latour | La coiffeuse, oil on canvas, 27.0 x 21.2 cm, signed u.l.

Henri Fantin-Latour

painting • for sale

La coiffeuse

Albert Roelofs | A walk in the woods, oil on panel, 40.1 x 30.7 cm, signed l.r. (with traces) and on a label on the reverse and painted ca. 1900-1905

Albert Roelofs

painting • for sale

A walk in the woods, ca. 1900-1905

Huib Luns | The Sybil of Cumae, oil on panel, 32.6 x 23.9 cm, signed l.r. and dated '06

Huib Luns

painting • for sale

The Sybil of Cumae, 1906

Isaac Israels | Portrait of a young woman, oil on panel, 23.0 x 9.5 cm, signed u.r. and painted ca. 1910-1915

Isaac Israels

painting • for sale

Portrait of a young woman, ca. 1910-1915

Lodewijk Schelfhout | Portrait of a saint wearing a mitre, pencil and chalk on paper, 34.0 x 20.0 cm

Lodewijk Schelfhout

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Portrait of a saint wearing a mitre

Lucebert | Die Wahlverwandtschaften, oil on canvas, 90.2 x 70.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated '90


painting • for sale

Die Wahlverwandtschaften, 1990

Mari ten Kate | On the way to the field, oil on panel, 37.5 x 49.8 cm, signed l.r.

Mari ten Kate

painting • for sale

On the way to the field

Nic Jonk | The Three Graces, bronze, 19.0 x 17.0 cm, signed on the bases and dated on the base '60

Nic Jonk

statue • sculptuur • for sale

The Three Graces, 1960

Jits Bakker | Stilt walker, bronze, 32.0 x 8.0 cm, signed on the base

Jits Bakker

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Stilt walker

Arend Odé | The Dutch painter Jacob Maris, bronze, 43.0 x 27.5 cm, signed on the portfolio and dated '95

Arend Odé

statue • sculptuur • for sale

The Dutch painter Jacob Maris, 1895

George Martens | Reclyning nude, oil on canvas, 80.3 x 64.7 cm, signed l.r. and dated '29

George Martens

painting • for sale

Reclyning nude

Jan Jordens | Reclining nude, oil on canvas, 20.9 x 50.6 cm, signed u.r. and dated '42

Jan Jordens

painting • for sale

Reclining nude

Jan Fabius | A girl selling matches in the snow, oil on panel, 21.7 x 18.9 cm, signed u.r.

Jan Fabius

painting • for sale

A girl selling matches in the snow

Leo Gestel | Travellers, watercolour on paper, 36.0 x 53.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1907

Leo Gestel

watercolour • drawing • for sale


Franse School, 19e eeuw | Bust of a woman, marble, 33.0 x 33.5 cm

Franse School, 19e eeuw

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Bust of a woman

Mari ten Kate | Playing horse and carriage in the snow, watercolour on paper, 25.1 x 35.6 cm, signed l.r.

Mari ten Kate

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Playing horse and carriage in the snow

Jan Zoetelief Tromp | Feeding the rabbit, oil on canvas, 27.1 x 40.4 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Zoetelief Tromp

painting • for sale

Feeding the rabbit