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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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Francisco Zuniga 1912-1998 Nude Figural Drawing
May 29, 12:00 PM EDT
Francisco Zuniga 1912-1998 Nude Figural Drawing
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$5508 Bids
Fried, Pál (Budapest 1893-1976 New York),
Jun 07, 10:00 AM CEST
Fried, Pál (Budapest 1893-1976 New York),
by Zisska & Lacher
Est: €300- €500
€6504 Bids
Karl Foster (PA,b 1933) pastel painting
Jun 16, 11:45 AM EDT
Karl Foster (PA,b 1933) pastel painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $340- $425
$603 Bids
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Original Drawing on Paper, Recumbent Nude Male, Signed
Jun 04, 2:00 PM EDT
Original Drawing on Paper, Recumbent Nude Male, Signed
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$253 Bids
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JOS PIRKNER* (born 1927 in Silian)
May 28, 3:00 PM CEST
JOS PIRKNER* (born 1927 in Silian)
by Widder Auctions
Est: €60- €100
€602 Bids
Joan Shapiro Seated Nude Woman Red Chalk on Paper
Jun 18, 11:00 AM EDT
Joan Shapiro Seated Nude Woman Red Chalk on Paper
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $300- $500
$1252 Bids
Karl Foster (PA,b 1933) pastel painting
Jul 07, 11:45 AM EDT
Karl Foster (PA,b 1933) pastel painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $340- $425
$102 Bids
Jean Désiré BASCOULES (Perpignan 1866 - Montpellier 1976) The Bathers
May 25, 2:00 PM CEST
Jean Désiré BASCOULES (Perpignan 1866 - Montpellier 1976) The Bathers
by Millon & Associes
Est: €100- €200
€1002 Bids
Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson (American/Tennessee)
May 30, 2:00 PM CDT
Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson (American/Tennessee)
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $400- $600
$3252 Bids
Tony DeZuniga (US,Philippines,1941-2012) colored pencil painting
Jun 30, 11:45 AM EDT
Tony DeZuniga (US,Philippines,1941-2012) colored pencil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $600- $750
$302 Bids
NORMAN LINDSAY (1879-1969) Crouching Female Nude pencil on paper 26 x 16cm (52 x 39cm framed)
Jun 04, 2:00 PM AEST
NORMAN LINDSAY (1879-1969) Crouching Female Nude pencil on paper 26 x 16cm (52 x 39cm framed)
by Leonard Joel
Est: AUD800- AUD1,200
AUD6502 Bids
French school; 1759. "Male nude". Charcoal and chalk on tinted paper. Signed in the lower right corner.
May 29, 11:30 AM CEST
French school; 1759. "Male nude". Charcoal and chalk on tinted paper. Signed in the lower right corner.
by Setdart Auction House
Est: €200- €300
€1702 Bids
Jan de Ruth Reclining Nude Chalk on Paper
Jun 05, 11:00 AM EDT
Jan de Ruth Reclining Nude Chalk on Paper
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Anonymer Künstler | 20. Jh.
Jun 01, 10:00 AM CEST
Anonymer Künstler | 20. Jh.
by GAILER Kunstauktionshaus am Chiemsee
Est: €0- €0
€51 Bid
Sala Gyöngyi Lieber (born 1980), Faun Couple
May 25, 10:00 AM CEST
Sala Gyöngyi Lieber (born 1980), Faun Couple
by Kunst- und Auktionshaus Quedlinburg
Est: €0- €0
€1801 Bid
Sala Gyöngyi Lieber (born 1980), Seated Female Nude
May 25, 10:00 AM CEST
Sala Gyöngyi Lieber (born 1980), Seated Female Nude
by Kunst- und Auktionshaus Quedlinburg
Est: €0- €0
€1201 Bid
Hannes Loos (1913-1987), Seated Female Nude
May 25, 10:00 AM CEST
Hannes Loos (1913-1987), Seated Female Nude
by Kunst- und Auktionshaus Quedlinburg
Est: €0- €0
€601 Bid
León Cano - Libreta de dibujo.
May 30, 8:00 PM COT
León Cano - Libreta de dibujo.
by Bogota Auctions
Est: $3,500,000- $6,500,000
$3,500,0001 Bid
Anonymer Künstler | Süddeutsch, 19. Jh.
Jun 01, 10:00 AM CEST
Anonymer Künstler | Süddeutsch, 19. Jh.
by GAILER Kunstauktionshaus am Chiemsee
Est: €0- €0
€801 Bid
Henri Lehmann (1814-1882).
Jun 06, 2:15 PM CEST
Henri Lehmann (1814-1882).
by Alde
Est: €300- €500
€3001 Bid
Léa Lafugie, France (1890-1972), Reclining Nude, Pastel & Pencil on Paper
May 27, 6:00 PM AEST
Léa Lafugie, France (1890-1972), Reclining Nude, Pastel & Pencil on Paper
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD200- AUD400
AUD1001 Bid
Moses Soyer Standing Nude Charcoal and Crayon
Jun 11, 11:00 AM EDT
Moses Soyer Standing Nude Charcoal and Crayon
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Spanish School, 20th Century "Young Nude Girl"
May 29, 6:00 PM CEST
Spanish School, 20th Century "Young Nude Girl"
by Greco Subastas
Est: €125- €150
€1251 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Nude Drawings


Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Widder Auctions

Widder Auctions

Zisska & Lacher

Zisska & Lacher

Auctions at Showplace

Auctions at Showplace