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Nude Paintings

The nude has a wide range of meanings in art. For one, it might symbolize heroism. In Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, "David," 1501-04, nudity references the ancient Greek custom for athletes to practice and compete in the nude – David is heroically nude. Nudity can also mean innocence. Michelangelo placed putti in the Sistine chapel ceiling. The playful creatures lighten the mood, bringing a sense of fun and play.

A nude person could also symbolize weakness or shame, such as a naked old man, or naked Adam and Eve covering themselves with leaves. In "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1500-05 by Hieronymous Bosch, the left panel shows Adam and Eve, innocently nude before the fall from grace. In the middle panel, the naked people have fallen away from God. At right, in the hell scene, the nakedness is that of the abject broken beings.

The nude can also be a symbol of erotic pleasure. Titian’s nude oil painting of 1538, "Venus of Urbino," conveys a frank message from Guidobaldo II della Rovere, the Duke of Urbino, to his new wife about his expectation for their marriage.


Quick Facts

  • On May 13, 2010, Phillips New York sold Tom Wesselmann, "Sunset Nude (Light)," 2004, for $914,500
  • On November 19, 2014, Bonhams New York sold George Bellows, "Two Women," 1924, for $1.27 million
  • On July 2, 2015, Sotheby’s London sold George Condo,"Nude on Purple," 1957, for £203,000

Recommended Items at Auction

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SIGNED "DRINK OF THE WATER" OIL ON CANVAS
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VICTOR CANCINO RECLINING NUDE FEMALE OIL ON CANVAS
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ANNA RAZUMOVSKAYA "SILKY DREAMS" OIL ON CANVAS
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VALDIVIA CARRASCO, Jorge (* 1950 Ayacucho/Peru). "Die Vögel / Ave - Eva".
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VALDIVIA CARRASCO, Jorge (* 1950 Ayacucho/Peru). "Die Vögel / Ave - Eva".
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Oct 27, 10:30 AM BST
Serge Marshennikov (Russian b. 1971), The bath of Aphrodite
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Charles Rubino Stretching Nude Oil Painting
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VERMEERSCH JOSE
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VERMEERSCH JOSE
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Domenico Bruschi, Studio per decorazione.
Oct 27, 10:00 AM CEST
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Hunter Barker (1918-2010) Nude Watercolor Painting
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Hunter Barker (1918-2010) Nude Watercolor Painting
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Evgeny Mitta: Soviet Sex: Hammer & Sickle, Red Stars. 1989, Graphite, Gouache
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Evgeny Mitta: Soviet Sex: Hammer & Sickle, Red Stars. 1989, Graphite, Gouache
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Est: $3,000- $6,000
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Boris Solotareff: Nu Avec Les Mains Levées, Oil/Canvas c.1920
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Boris Solotareff: Nu Avec Les Mains Levées, Oil/Canvas c.1920
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§ Dora Holzhandler (British 1928-2015) Lovers, 1985
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
§ Dora Holzhandler (British 1928-2015) Lovers, 1985
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Modern Abstract Signed Figural Nude Oil Painting
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Modern Abstract Signed Figural Nude Oil Painting
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Charles SWYNCOP (1895-1970) "naked young woman" Sizes: Cadre L=775mm H=880mm peinture L=530mm H
Oct 31, 10:00 AM CET
Charles SWYNCOP (1895-1970) "naked young woman" Sizes: Cadre L=775mm H=880mm peinture L=530mm H
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LIPETZ, Wladimir (* 1950 Kasachstan). Liegender Mädchenakt.
Oct 30, 9:00 AM CEST
LIPETZ, Wladimir (* 1950 Kasachstan). Liegender Mädchenakt.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
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ROMARE BEARDEN AMERICAN 1911-1988
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
ROMARE BEARDEN AMERICAN 1911-1988
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Est: $4,000- $6,000
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Suse Fritsch, 1st half of the
Nov 06, 10:00 AM CET
Suse Fritsch, 1st half of the
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Sellers Who Sell Nude Paintings


Auktionshaus Wendl

Auktionshaus Wendl

Broward Auction Gallery

Broward Auction Gallery

Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG

Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG

Bonhams

Bonhams