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Nude Drawings

Nude drawings are one of the most popular genres in the history of the art form. They most often depict female figures unclothed in a manner that serves to emphasize the innate beauty of the human body. The term "nude" is distinguished from "naked" in the sense that it is an idealization of the body as opposed to candid portrayal, replete with mortal imperfections, of the subject.

The tradition of nude drawings rose to popularity in ancient Greece as artists honed their representation of the musculature, anatomy, and proportions of the human body. This art form has maintained its popularity for millennia, proving that the human form constitutes a subject matter of perennial interest worldwide.

In the 20th century, artists such as Lucien Freud rejected the classical aims of nude drawings. They presented unclothed subjects who appear grotesque and monstrous rather than romanticized. This impulse reflects the modernist tendency to spurn traditional modes of expression in favor of creations that oppose conventional tastes and propose new possibilities for understanding beauty.


Quick Facts

  • In 2012, Acquavella Gallery held an exhibition of Lucien Freud’s drawings, including many examples of nude drawings created over the past 40 years
  • German artist Egon Schiele is one of the most celebrated and prolific producers of nude drawings. In February 2015, Sotheby’s sold a Schiele drawing, "Female Nude with Raised Arms," for $245,000
  • American artist Thomas Eakins created many nude drawings that included portraits of male subjects. While they were considered controversial at the time, they are now highly celebrated and valuable

Recommended Items at Auction

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Academic Study of a Nude Woman
Nov 29, 12:00 PM EST
Academic Study of a Nude Woman
by Old Kinderhook Auction Company
Est: $100- $200
$37512 Bids
ATTR MAILLOL Nude Sketch Lithograph
Dec 21, 10:00 AM EST
ATTR MAILLOL Nude Sketch Lithograph
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $150
$507 Bids
Bartolomeo Passarotti (1529-1592)-attributed
Nov 30, 10:00 AM CET
Bartolomeo Passarotti (1529-1592)-attributed
by Deutsch Auktionen
Est: €180- €0
€3006 Bids
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) – attributed
Nov 30, 10:00 AM CET
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) – attributed
by Deutsch Auktionen
Est: €120- €0
€1404 Bids
Leonor Fini 1907-1996 Erotic Figural Nude Drawing
Nov 30, 11:00 AM EST
Leonor Fini 1907-1996 Erotic Figural Nude Drawing
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1503 Bids
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Lot consisting of three drawings
Nov 29, 3:30 PM CET
Lot consisting of three drawings
by Finarte
Est: €200- €400
€2402 Bids
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Mariano Fortuny y Marsal [attribuito a], Nudo maschile.
Nov 30, 10:00 AM CET
Mariano Fortuny y Marsal [attribuito a], Nudo maschile.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €180- €360
€1902 Bids
Marvin Saltzman N.C. Artist UNC Chapel Hill Drawing
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Marvin Saltzman N.C. Artist UNC Chapel Hill Drawing
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1102 Bids
LARGE MALE NUDE PASTEL PAINTING
Nov 29, 11:00 AM EST
LARGE MALE NUDE PASTEL PAINTING
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$1102 Bids
Pair of Pastel Nudes on Paper.
Dec 03, 11:00 AM CST
Pair of Pastel Nudes on Paper.
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$401 Bid
Fini, Leonor: Theatrale Szene (Zwei Figuren)
Dec 03, 2:00 PM CET
Fini, Leonor: Theatrale Szene (Zwei Figuren)
by Galerie Bassenge
Est: €700- €900
€7001 Bid
James Kearns, "Dream"
Nov 29, 12:00 PM EST
James Kearns, "Dream"
by Old Kinderhook Auction Company
Est: $50- $100
$251 Bid
Attr G.Gach Signed Charcoal Female Nude Drawing
Dec 21, 10:00 AM EST
Attr G.Gach Signed Charcoal Female Nude Drawing
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $150
$11 Bid
Alan Alexander (1932-2003) Ink On Paper
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Alan Alexander (1932-2003) Ink On Paper
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
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Luigi Levi (detto Ulvi Liegi), Nudo femminile. 1896.
Nov 30, 10:00 AM CET
Luigi Levi (detto Ulvi Liegi), Nudo femminile. 1896.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €220- €440
€2201 Bid
Wade Reynolds Male Nude Figure Drawing
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Wade Reynolds Male Nude Figure Drawing
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $500- $1,000
$2001 Bid
CHRISTIAN BÉRARD - UNTITLED (STANDING NUDE)
Dec 08, 11:00 AM EST
CHRISTIAN BÉRARD - UNTITLED (STANDING NUDE)
by Capsule Gallery Auction
Est: $500- $800
$2001 Bid
NU AUX JARRETELLES ROSES ASSIS SUR UN SOFA.
Dec 08, 1:00 PM CET
NU AUX JARRETELLES ROSES ASSIS SUR UN SOFA.
by Arenberg Auctions
Est: €400- €500
€2001 Bid
German School 18th Century
Nov 30, 10:00 AM CET
German School 18th Century
by Deutsch Auktionen
Est: €100- €0
€501 Bid
Vernile Gaietto (MA,20C) pastel painting
Dec 18, 11:45 AM EST
Vernile Gaietto (MA,20C) pastel painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $475- $625
$2800 Bids
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Sierk Schröder, Nudo femminile sdraiato.
Nov 30, 10:00 AM CET
Sierk Schröder, Nudo femminile sdraiato.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €200- €400
€2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Nude Drawings


Ansorena

Ansorena

Artcurial

Artcurial

Gonnelli Casa d'Aste

Gonnelli Casa d'Aste

Galerie Bassenge

Galerie Bassenge