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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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Helmut Breuninger (1921-1998), Nude of a Young Woman
May 25, 10:00 AM CEST
Helmut Breuninger (1921-1998), Nude of a Young Woman
by Kunst- und Auktionshaus Quedlinburg
Est: €0- €0
€2407 Bids
MID CENTURY AMERICAN NUDE PAINTING ROMARE BEARDEN
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
MID CENTURY AMERICAN NUDE PAINTING ROMARE BEARDEN
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$3256 Bids
Paul Permeke (1918-1990), female nude and still life, oil on canvas and board, 80 x 60 / 70 x 50 cm
May 30, 10:00 AM CEST
Paul Permeke (1918-1990), female nude and still life, oil on canvas and board, 80 x 60 / 70 x 50 cm
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €400- €600
€2404 Bids
Gustavo Gomez (Colombia,FL,b 1956) oil painting
Jun 16, 11:45 AM EDT
Gustavo Gomez (Colombia,FL,b 1956) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $500- $650
$404 Bids
McFarland, O/B Study Of Nude Woman
May 21, 10:00 AM EDT
McFarland, O/B Study Of Nude Woman
by Schwenke Auctioneers
Est: $100- $200
$704 Bids
Oleg Yurtaev (Russia,b 1981) oil painting
Jun 16, 11:45 AM EDT
Oleg Yurtaev (Russia,b 1981) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $600- $750
$303 Bids
Peter Keil b.1942 Neo Expressionism Oil Painting
May 29, 12:00 PM EDT
Peter Keil b.1942 Neo Expressionism Oil Painting
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$753 Bids
ATTR TO SANYU CHANG YU CHINESE PORTRAIT OIL PAINTING
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
ATTR TO SANYU CHANG YU CHINESE PORTRAIT OIL PAINTING
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$703 Bids
Nicola Simbari (Italy,1927-2012) oil painting
Jun 30, 11:45 AM EDT
Nicola Simbari (Italy,1927-2012) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $4,250- $5,500
$403 Bids
Reed Farrington (CA,AZ,1938-2014) oil painting
Jun 02, 11:45 AM EDT
Reed Farrington (CA,AZ,1938-2014) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $600- $750
$102 Bids
Oleg Yurtaev (Russia,b 1981) oil painting
Jun 16, 11:45 AM EDT
Oleg Yurtaev (Russia,b 1981) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $600- $750
$402 Bids
Oleg Yurtaev (Russia,b 1981) oil painting
Jun 16, 11:45 AM EDT
Oleg Yurtaev (Russia,b 1981) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $600- $750
$302 Bids
Gustavo Gomez (Colombia,FL,b 1956) oil painting
Jun 16, 11:45 AM EDT
Gustavo Gomez (Colombia,FL,b 1956) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $475- $625
$302 Bids
Mervin Honig (NY,1920-1990) oil painting
Jun 30, 11:45 AM EDT
Mervin Honig (NY,1920-1990) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $425- $550
$202 Bids
Geo A. Green Side - The McDonald 1890
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Geo A. Green Side - The McDonald 1890
by New England Auctions
Est: $800- $1,500
$2752 Bids
Andre Gisson (French,NY,CT,1921-2003) oil painting
Jun 02, 11:45 AM EDT
Andre Gisson (French,NY,CT,1921-2003) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $1,050- $1,350
$502 Bids
Louis Fabien (US,French,1924-?) oil painting
Aug 18, 11:45 AM EDT
Louis Fabien (US,French,1924-?) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $1,400- $1,800
$202 Bids
NORBERT BISKY Germany (1970) "Bathers", 2016
May 22, 5:00 PM CEST
NORBERT BISKY Germany (1970) "Bathers", 2016
by Ansorena
Est: €6,000- €8,000
€4,0002 Bids
BERNARDINO LUINI (seguace del XVII Secolo)
May 28, 1:45 PM CEST
BERNARDINO LUINI (seguace del XVII Secolo)
by Wannenes Art Auctions
Est: €50- €70
€502 Bids
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Guo Jian, (Chinese, b. 1962), Untitled, oil on canvas, 92 x 92 cm
May 21, 6:00 PM AEST
Guo Jian, (Chinese, b. 1962), Untitled, oil on canvas, 92 x 92 cm
by Shapiro Auctioneers
Est: AUD800- AUD1,200
AUD6502 Bids
Shelley 20C. Modern Abstract Nude Figural Painting
May 29, 12:00 PM EDT
Shelley 20C. Modern Abstract Nude Figural Painting
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Nude Paintings


Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Broward Auction Gallery LLC

Auktionshaus Zofingen

Auktionshaus Zofingen

Wannenes Art Auctions

Wannenes Art Auctions

Auctions at Showplace

Auctions at Showplace