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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.
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