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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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Karel Appel (Dutch 1921 - 2006)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Karel Appel (Dutch 1921 - 2006)
by Adams Amsterdam Auctions
Est: €10,000- €15,000
€20,00013 Bids
ARDIF NUDE MECHANATOMY III
Nov 29, 7:00 PM CET
ARDIF NUDE MECHANATOMY III
by L’Hôpital Fondation Adolphe de Rothschild
Est: €3,500- €0
€1,2008 Bids
Kasper-Grzegorz Kasperek - "Volatile Bodies", 2020.
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Kasper-Grzegorz Kasperek - "Volatile Bodies", 2020.
by Auktionshaus Wersching
Est: €0- €0
€2408 Bids
ARDIF NUDE MECHANATOMY IV
Nov 29, 7:00 PM CET
ARDIF NUDE MECHANATOMY IV
by L’Hôpital Fondation Adolphe de Rothschild
Est: €3,500- €0
€1,1008 Bids
Rubens, Peter Paul
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Rubens, Peter Paul
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€9504 Bids
Charles P. Gruppe, "Meditation"
Nov 29, 12:00 PM EST
Charles P. Gruppe, "Meditation"
by Old Kinderhook Auction Company
Est: $400- $600
$2004 Bids
Monogrammist ""FwR""
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Monogrammist ""FwR""
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€2403 Bids
Unknown Artist 20th Century
Nov 30, 10:00 AM CET
Unknown Artist 20th Century
by Deutsch Auktionen
Est: €80- €0
€403 Bids
EMMANUEL PHILLIPS FOX 1865-1915 [CIRCLE OF] "FEMME NU" C1905, OIL ON CANVAS, UNSIGNED, 91X62CMS, IN A PERIOD FRAME.
Dec 04, 5:00 PM AWST
EMMANUEL PHILLIPS FOX 1865-1915 [CIRCLE OF] "FEMME NU" C1905, OIL ON CANVAS, UNSIGNED, 91X62CMS, IN A PERIOD FRAME.
by WA Art Auctions
Est: AUD15,000- AUD25,000
AUD5,0003 Bids
J. GRAY, (nude figure and Siamese cat), oil on board, signed lower right "J. Gray", 15 x 20cm, 40 x 43cm overall
Dec 04, 10:00 AM AEDT
J. GRAY, (nude figure and Siamese cat), oil on board, signed lower right "J. Gray", 15 x 20cm, 40 x 43cm overall
by Leski Auctions Pty Ltd
Est: AUD120- AUD200
AUD1002 Bids
- Erotik - Liegender weiblicher Akt.
Dec 01, 10:00 AM CET
- Erotik - Liegender weiblicher Akt.
by Zisska & Lacher
Est: €0- €120
€602 Bids
Karel Appel (Dutch 1921 - 2006)
Nov 29, 6:00 PM CET
Karel Appel (Dutch 1921 - 2006)
by Adams Amsterdam Auctions
Est: €120,000- €160,000
€120,0002 Bids
Aaron S Brown - Liberia
Dec 06, 6:00 PM AWST
Aaron S Brown - Liberia
by McKenzies Auctioneers
Est: AUD400- AUD600
AUD3252 Bids
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PAM DOLINSKA, WATERCOLOUR, NUDE STUDY, SIGNED LOWER RIGHT, MEASURES 17CM W X 26CM H,
Dec 01, 9:00 AM AEST
PAM DOLINSKA, WATERCOLOUR, NUDE STUDY, SIGNED LOWER RIGHT, MEASURES 17CM W X 26CM H,
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD80- AUD150
AUD802 Bids
flämischer Meister
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
flämischer Meister
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€3901 Bid
Bettina Steinke (NM,ME,1913-1999) oil painting
Jan 02, 11:45 AM EST
Bettina Steinke (NM,ME,1913-1999) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $1,700- $2,200
$8501 Bid
ATTRIBUTED AND SIGNED X B LI, OIL PAINTING ON CANVAS, UNFRAMED.OH064.
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
ATTRIBUTED AND SIGNED X B LI, OIL PAINTING ON CANVAS, UNFRAMED.OH064.
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $6,000- $8,000
$1,9001 Bid
SCUOLA FRANCESE (?) DELL'INIZIO DEL XX SECOLO
Nov 29, 3:00 PM CET
SCUOLA FRANCESE (?) DELL'INIZIO DEL XX SECOLO
by Lucas Aste
Est: €100- €150
€1001 Bid
Sarah Nechamkin, British 1917-2017 - Nude; oil on canvas, 53 x 43 cm: together with an
Dec 08, 11:00 AM GMT
Sarah Nechamkin, British 1917-2017 - Nude; oil on canvas, 53 x 43 cm: together with an
by Roseberys
Est: £100- £200
£401 Bid
Ang Kiukok (1931 - 2005) Mother and Child
Dec 03, 2:00 PM PST
Ang Kiukok (1931 - 2005) Mother and Child
by Leon Gallery
Est: ₱800,000- ₱1,040,000
₱800,0001 Bid
Benvenuto (Italy,19C) oil painting antique
Jan 02, 11:45 AM EST
Benvenuto (Italy,19C) oil painting antique
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $1,700- $2,100
$8501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Nude Paintings


Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Hampel Fine Art Auctions

Hampel Fine Art Auctions

Im Kinsky

Im Kinsky

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden