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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.

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Harm Kamerlingh Onnes | Maidservant, earthenware, 25.5 x 11.5 cm, signed on the inside with monogram and dated '76

Harm Kamerlingh Onnes

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Maidservant, 1976

Harm Kamerlingh Onnes | Group hug, earthenware, 16.5 x 15.0 cm, signed on the underside with monogram and stamp and dateed '81

Harm Kamerlingh Onnes

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Group hug, 1981

Floris Arntzenius | F.J. van Rossum du Chattel and J.A. Frederiks playing cards at Pulchri, charcoal and watercolour on paper, 13.7 x 11.6 cm, signed l.l.

Floris Arntzenius

watercolour • drawing • for sale

F.J. van Rossum du Chattel and J.A. Frederiks playing cards at Pulchri

Cornelis Vreedenburgh | Mother and child at a garden gate, oil on canvas, 21.4 x 16.2 cm, signed l.r. with initials and dated '07

Cornelis Vreedenburgh

painting • for sale

Mother and child at a garden gate, 1907

Harm Kamerlingh Onnes | Spring has started, gouache on paper, 30.5 x 44.4 cm, signed l.l. with monogram

Harm Kamerlingh Onnes

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Spring has started

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, 1974

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

Lucebert | Three Brothers, oil on canvas, 114.3 x 145.9 cm, signed l.r. and dated '83

Lucebert

painting • for sale

Three Brothers, 1983

Jan Toorop | Figures in a park, pencil and watercolour on paper, 21.5 x 15.5 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1926

Jan Toorop

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Figures in a park, 1926

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

Lucebert

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Untitled, 1953

Jan van Heel | Black doll, oil on canvas, 60.4 x 49.9 cm, signed l.c. and on the reverse and dated on the reverse '64

Jan van Heel

painting • for sale

Black doll, 1964

Picasso | Au cirque. Écuyère se chaussant dans les coulisses et clown au trapèze., etching, 31.4 x 41.2 cm, dated 28.5.71 (in the plate)

Picasso

prints & multiples • for sale

Au cirque. Écuyère se chaussant dans les coulisses et clown au trapèze., 1971

Piet van der Hem | At the dog show, watercolour on paper, 127.4 x 68.0 cm, signed u.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • for sale

At the dog show

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

Jacob Jan Coenraad Spohler | River landscape with sailing ship, figures and windmill, oil on panel, 16.0 x 11.9 cm

Jacob Jan Coenraad Spohler

painting • for sale

River landscape with sailing ship, figures and windmill

Andries Scheerboom | A chat at the vegetable stall, oil on panel, 34.6 x 26.0 cm

Andries Scheerboom

painting • for sale

A chat at the vegetable stall

Herbert van der Poll | A boy blowing bubbles, oil on panel, 40.2 x 32.2 cm, signed u.l. and dated '99

Herbert van der Poll

painting • for sale

A boy blowing bubbles, 1899

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

Hal Wichers | A tropical rain shower, oil on board, 40.0 x 30.1 cm, signed l.r.

Hal Wichers

painting • for sale

A tropical rain shower

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, 1954


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