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Nude Prints

The study of the nude is a rich artistic tradition that has informed artistic practice since ancient Greece and Rome. Though the study halted in medieval times, the humanist sentiment and the interest in classical figuration during the Renaissance revived interest in drawing the body from direct observation.

The great painters of this time, if not printmakers themselves, employed workshops to reproduce their paintings for publication, often taking as their subject Greek and Roman mythology. Baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens is one artist that embraced the nude and took advantage of the commercial nature of printmaking. Rubens was famous for his religious and mythological scenes of fleshy, voluptuous women.

In the 20th century, artistic attention turned away from the study of the human form in favor of abstraction and the celebration of the machine age. But artists continued to explore the nude as a subject, and figuration became popular again in the 1980s. The nude has been central to the work of artists such as Alice Neel, Lucien Freud, Eric Fischl, Marlene Dumas, and many others in the late 20th century.


Quick Facts

  • The nude is common in Japanese woodblock prints. Ukiyo-e prints were traditionally genre scenes of everyday life, and had a big impact on impressionist artist in the 19th century
  • German expressionist artists explored the nude in rough, primitive wood cut prints at the turn of the 20th century. Artists of this movement include Emile Nolde, Ernst Kirchner, and George Kolbe
  • The return to figuration in artistic practice, often focused on the abject and provocative, was called neo-expressionism. Neo-expressionists promoted using the figure to express both violent and subtle emotion

Recommended Items at Auction

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Roy Lichtenstein, American, 1923-1997
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Salvador Dali 1904-1989 Loves Promise Litho SIGNED
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After Gustav Schmalz, print of the awakening of Galatea. frame size 62 x 38cm
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Félix Vallotton, La paresse. 1896.
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Félix Vallotton, La paresse. 1896.
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Rafael Canogar (b. 1935, Spanish), Eight plates from "La Violencia" portfolio, 1969
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Salvador Dali 1904-1989 Eternity Love Litho SIGNED
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Salvador Dali Signed Lithograph from Marquis de Sade Suite
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
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Mel Ramos A.C. Annie (GC 3-71; Z 66), 1971
Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST
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Walter Libuda - Weibliche Formen Altea
Apr 20, 3:00 PM CEST
Walter Libuda - Weibliche Formen Altea
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Böttger, Klaus,
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Böttger, Klaus,
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Oskar Kokoschka - Der Tod des Asklepios, 1976
Apr 20, 3:00 PM CEST
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Hajime Sorayama (b. 1947) Limited Edition Print
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Hajime Sorayama (b. 1947) Limited Edition Print
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Sellers Who Sell Nude Prints


KCM Galleries

KCM Galleries

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

Gonnelli Casa d'Aste

Gonnelli Casa d'Aste