Loading Spinner

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

See all items

Harry Louis Freund Sun Bath
Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST
Harry Louis Freund Sun Bath
by Larsen Art Auction
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$5,00012 Bids
MODERN INDIAN OIL PAINTING BY FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA
Apr 21, 10:00 AM EDT
MODERN INDIAN OIL PAINTING BY FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$3258 Bids
Rienäcker, Gustav
May 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Rienäcker, Gustav
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€7008 Bids
Gregory Frank Harris, American B. 1953, Curiosity
Apr 18, 9:00 AM PDT
Gregory Frank Harris, American B. 1953, Curiosity
by Abell Auction
Est: $200- $400
$6508 Bids
Alexander Mihaylovich (B. 1961): Rediscovery of Antiquity
Apr 17, 9:00 AM PDT
Alexander Mihaylovich (B. 1961): Rediscovery of Antiquity
by Abell Auction
Est: $600- $800
$3,2507 Bids
RUSSIAN NUDE OIL PAINTING ATTR TO AARON BUCH
Apr 20, 10:00 AM EDT
RUSSIAN NUDE OIL PAINTING ATTR TO AARON BUCH
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$1757 Bids
Alice FREY (1895-1981), oil on panel Reclining nude, signed
Apr 22, 6:00 PM CEST
Alice FREY (1895-1981), oil on panel Reclining nude, signed
by Maison Jules Veilinghuis
Est: €300- €500
€8006 Bids
Robert Kelsch (CA,1938-2016) oil painting
May 19, 11:45 AM EDT
Robert Kelsch (CA,1938-2016) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $340- $425
$1106 Bids
Peter Williams (NY,New Zealand,1934-2018) oil painting
May 05, 11:45 AM EDT
Peter Williams (NY,New Zealand,1934-2018) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $950- $1,250
$505 Bids
PIERRE AMBROGIANI FRENCH EXPRESSIONIST OIL PAINTING
Apr 20, 10:00 AM EDT
PIERRE AMBROGIANI FRENCH EXPRESSIONIST OIL PAINTING
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$905 Bids
Ibrahim Safi - A Folk Dance, Istanbul, 20th century
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
Ibrahim Safi - A Folk Dance, Istanbul, 20th century
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€1,5005 Bids
FRANZ ROUBAUD (UKRAINIAN-GERMAN 1856-1928)
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
FRANZ ROUBAUD (UKRAINIAN-GERMAN 1856-1928)
by Shapiro Auctions LLC
Est: $12,000- $18,000
$7,5005 Bids
Armand Jamar: Study of a standing female nude. Oil on panel.
Apr 17, 1:30 PM CEST
Armand Jamar: Study of a standing female nude. Oil on panel.
by CR Art Auctions
Est: €50- €100
€905 Bids
Nathan Hoffman (NJ,20C) oil painting
May 19, 11:45 AM EDT
Nathan Hoffman (NJ,20C) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $425- $525
$104 Bids
David Kreitzer (CA,NE,b 1942) oil painting
May 05, 11:45 AM EDT
David Kreitzer (CA,NE,b 1942) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $900- $1,150
$1104 Bids
Richard Smirke (1778 - 1815), Venus at the Forge of Vulcan
Apr 18, 10:00 AM BST
Richard Smirke (1778 - 1815), Venus at the Forge of Vulcan
by Sloane Street Auctions
Est: £300- £500
£2304 Bids
Boscoe Holder 1980 Sgd Nude Figure Oil Painting
Apr 17, 10:00 AM EDT
Boscoe Holder 1980 Sgd Nude Figure Oil Painting
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $100- $250
$304 Bids
ATTR LE PHO VIETNAMESE NUDE PORTRAIT OIL PAINTING
Apr 21, 10:00 AM EDT
ATTR LE PHO VIETNAMESE NUDE PORTRAIT OIL PAINTING
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$1004 Bids
ACADEMIC OIL PAINTING, EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Apr 18, 3:00 PM CEST
ACADEMIC OIL PAINTING, EARLY 20TH CENTURY
by Casa d'Aste Babuino
Est: €200- €300
€2404 Bids
French Art Nouveau Painted Panel
Apr 17, 9:00 AM PDT
French Art Nouveau Painted Panel
by Abell Auction
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$6,5004 Bids
Alain Bonnefoit (France,1937-?) oil painting
May 05, 11:45 AM EDT
Alain Bonnefoit (France,1937-?) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $1,800- $2,400
$703 Bids
William Vincent (NM,FL,1939-2004) oil painting
May 19, 11:45 AM EDT
William Vincent (NM,FL,1939-2004) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $525- $650
$403 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Nude Paintings


Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG

Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG

Casa d'aste ARCADIA

Casa d'aste ARCADIA