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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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Paul Cadmus Male Nude Crayon on Paper
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Paul Cadmus Male Nude Crayon on Paper
by Revere Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5008 Bids
COCTEAU, JEAN: "Érotique".
Nov 04, 9:00 AM CET
COCTEAU, JEAN: "Érotique".
by Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG
Est: CHF1,300- CHF2,000
CHF1,0002 Bids
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Doel Reed, Nude in Repose, 1969
Nov 05, 3:00 PM MDT
Doel Reed, Nude in Repose, 1969
by Santa Fe Art Auction
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$8002 Bids
§ Patrick Proctor (British 1936-2003) Nude Reclining, 1986
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
§ Patrick Proctor (British 1936-2003) Nude Reclining, 1986
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £1,500- £2,500
£7501 Bid
Herbert Kallem: Study of a Nude From Behind, 1970 Acrylic/Gouache on Paper
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Herbert Kallem: Study of a Nude From Behind, 1970 Acrylic/Gouache on Paper
by Zikorn Arts
Est: $850- $1,500
$4501 Bid
Dessins FINI Léonor (1908 - 1996)
Nov 03, 6:30 PM CET
Dessins FINI Léonor (1908 - 1996)
by Vanderkindere
Est: €500- €700
€5001 Bid
COMBAS, ROBERT: Femme nue.
Nov 05, 2:00 PM CET
COMBAS, ROBERT: Femme nue.
by Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG
Est: CHF3,300- CHF5,000
CHF2,4001 Bid
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Paul Emsley; South African 1947-; Female Nude
Nov 09, 6:00 PM SAST
Paul Emsley; South African 1947-; Female Nude
by Strauss & Co
Est: R18,000- R24,000
R15,0001 Bid
GIMMI, WILHELM: Liegende.
Nov 04, 9:00 AM CET
GIMMI, WILHELM: Liegende.
by Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG
Est: CHF300- CHF500
CHF2401 Bid
Guy Pene Du Bois Graphite Drawing Nudes
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Guy Pene Du Bois Graphite Drawing Nudes
by Revere Auctions
Est: $500- $1,000
$3001 Bid
MARCEL GROMAIRE (FRENCH, 1892 - 1971): "NU ASSIS"
Oct 28, 9:00 AM PDT
MARCEL GROMAIRE (FRENCH, 1892 - 1971): "NU ASSIS"
by Abell Auction
Est: $400- $600
$3001 Bid
COCTEAU, JEAN: "Érotique - deux personnages".
Nov 04, 9:00 AM CET
COCTEAU, JEAN: "Érotique - deux personnages".
by Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG
Est: CHF1,600- CHF2,500
CHF1,2001 Bid
Eugene Speicher Nude Pastel Drawing
Nov 04, 10:00 AM CDT
Eugene Speicher Nude Pastel Drawing
by Revere Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber über Offset. 2000. 29,7 x 21 cm. Signiert. (40)
Nov 20, 2:00 PM CET
Ohne Titel. Kugelschreiber über Offset. 2000. 29,7 x 21 cm. Signiert. (40)
by Dr. Andreas Sturies Moderne Kunst & Auktionen
Est: €0- €3,000
€2,8001 Bid
ARTEMIO SEPULVEDA (B. 1937): TWO FIGURES
Oct 28, 9:00 AM PDT
ARTEMIO SEPULVEDA (B. 1937): TWO FIGURES
by Abell Auction
Est: $300- $500
$2251 Bid
§ Francis Newton Souza (Indian 1924-2002) Female Nude, 1964
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
§ Francis Newton Souza (Indian 1924-2002) Female Nude, 1964
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £800- £1,200
£4001 Bid
Reginald Marsh
Oct 29, 1:00 PM EDT
Reginald Marsh
by OG Collections
Est: $600- $1,200
$3001 Bid
Salvador Dali (AFTER) Drawing on Paper
Nov 20, 3:00 PM EST
Salvador Dali (AFTER) Drawing on Paper
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $200- $2,000
$1001 Bid
FEMALE NUDE
Oct 30, 1:00 PM CEST
FEMALE NUDE
by Galerie Moenius
Est: CHF200- CHF400
CHF2001 Bid
LeRoy Neiman - Six Nudes
Nov 11, 12:00 PM EST
LeRoy Neiman - Six Nudes
by Dane Fine Art Auctions
Est: $2,000- $2,500
$7000 Bids
Gustav Klimt (After) - Untitled 3
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Gustav Klimt (After) - Untitled 3
by Dane Fine Art Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$4000 Bids
Gustav Klimt (After) - Untitled 4
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Gustav Klimt (After) - Untitled 4
by Dane Fine Art Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$4000 Bids
Gustav Klimt (After) - Untitled 5
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Gustav Klimt (After) - Untitled 5
by Dane Fine Art Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$4500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Nude Drawings


500 Gallery

500 Gallery

OG Collections

OG Collections

Dane Fine Art Auctions

Dane Fine Art Auctions

Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG

Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG