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Nude Sculpture

In a similar way to animal or abstract sculpture, nude sculpture is a distinct art genre that depicts humans figures unclothed. Nonetheless, traditional nude figures were often partially clothed with cleverly placed drapery with their genitals covered. Nude art does not necessarily translate as a representation of sheer nakedness and a complete absence of clothing but it does need to have an marked interested in portraying the human body.

Although nude art was only recognised by art critics as a genre of its own in the 20th century, it is one of the oldest forms of art known to date. Made in 24,000 BCE, the Venus of Willendorf is an early example of nude sculpture. The fact that it is not a realistic representation of the female figure is irrelevant. The exaggerated chest and stomach may allude to a certain feminine beauty ideal or may be interpreted as symbols of fertility.

In Europe and the Middle East, a nude artistic tradition started to develop. Egyptian and Greco-Roman sculptures are certainly some of the most memorable works from this period of art history, many of which can be seen today at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Greek nudes first started to emerge during the 6th century BCE and focused essentially on portraying a certain ideal standard of beauty. Gods, heroes and athletes were all favourite subject choices for sculptors who sometimes depicted them on a monumental scale. Throughout art history, the nude has been used to symbolise the canons of beauty of a particular period. In contrast to the Venus of Willendorf, the figures represented in Greek marble sculptures are a much more realistic representation of the proportions of the human body. However, they still adhere to rather strict artistic codes about human representation and the notion of the ideal body. The sculptures continued to depict an ideal standard of beauty, albeit one based more closely on true human nature.

The Roman Empire soon developed a taste for nude sculpture and began a long tradition of copying Greek sculptures for mainly decorative purposes. For quite some time after, the rising influence of Christianity brought the development of nude sculpture to a standstill. It wasn’t until the Italian Renaissance that nude sculpture became a prestigious art form once again. Artists began to rediscover a form of artistic expression that allowed them to interpret beauty and glorify mankind.

Famous artists such as Bernini, Benvenuto Cellini or Michelangelo often chose mythological or biblical subjects as a pretext to study and explore human anatomy, creating as a result some of the most important masterpieces of Western art.

Their works contributed to the creation of a canon that dominated the artistic scene until the end of the 19th century when a new wave of sculptors announced the advent of modern art, a movement that was no longer interested in representing the model realistically but was more concerned about the expressive meaning of the work. The work of Auguste Rodin and of Alberto Giacometti are notable examples of the break away from realistic neo classical nude sculpture.

To get a better idea of current trends in nude sculpture, have a look at the works of contemporary artists such as Jenny Verplanke, de Jean-François Lemaire and Cade.

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Sculptures

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ChrisB, Montmartre, Sculpture

ChrisB

Montmartre, 2021
46 x 16 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$581

Sylvie Berry, Trace Torse (Gypse de Maurienne), Sculpture

Sylvie Berry

Trace Torse (Gypse de Maurienne), 2020
17 x 17 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$1,067

Giulio Paolini, Elea, Sculpture

Giulio Paolini

Elea, 2009
15 x 47 x 47 cm
Sculpture

$3,320

Davide Galbiati, The Child, Sculpture

Davide Galbiati

The Child, 2017
52 x 20 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$3,320

Our recommendations Mel Ramos, Candy II (Snickers), Sculpture

Mel Ramos

Candy II (Snickers), 2014
76.2 x 55.9 x 7.6 cm
Sculpture

$50,000

Our recommendations Pierre Williams, Seated male nude with tree (precious tree), Sculpture

Pierre Williams

Seated male nude with tree (precious tree), 2019
60 x 27 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$1,543

Raphaël Federici (ParisSketchCulture), Rendez-la nous, Sculpture

Raphaël Federici (ParisSketchCulture)

Rendez-la nous, 2019
88 x 90 x 55 cm
Sculpture

$6,758

Our recommendations Chantal Cheuva, Nichée, Sculpture

Chantal Cheuva

Nichée, 2017
30 x 58 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$7,826

Yves Klein, Petite Vénus bleue, Sculpture

Yves Klein

Petite Vénus bleue, 2001
6.2 x 2.4 x 0.1 cm
Sculpture

$9,486

Our recommendations Mirogi, Touch, Sculpture

Mirogi

Touch, 2021
78 x 33 x 23 cm
Sculpture

$19,564

Manny Woodard, A Piece of Sky, Sculpture

Manny Woodard

A Piece of Sky, 2020
45 x 30 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$1,297

Stéphane Dugied, Femme au drapé - série corps de femme, Sculpture

Stéphane Dugied

Femme au drapé - série corps de femme, 2018
70 x 52 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$683

Dominique Dardek, Allégresse, Sculpture

Dominique Dardek

Allégresse, 2018
40 x 10 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$2,360

Pierrette Dijonneau, Joie, Sculpture

Pierrette Dijonneau

Joie, 2020
26 x 31 x 31 cm
Sculpture

$889

Rudy Morandini, Victoire, Sculpture

Rudy Morandini

Victoire, 2021
94 x 43 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$6,877

François Loup, Petits seins sur socle 3, Sculpture

François Loup

Petits seins sur socle 3, 2018
38 x 30 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$593

John De Andrea, Seated Figure, Sculpture

John De Andrea

Seated Figure, 1973
83.8 x 63.5 x 137.2 cm
Sculpture

$150,000

Stefan Nikolaev, Glory Glow, le faux berger, Sculpture

Stefan Nikolaev

Glory Glow, le faux berger, 2015
26 x 14 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$1,186

Val Carr-Ortolan, Autant en emporte le temps, Sculpture

Val Carr-Ortolan

Autant en emporte le temps, 2021
75 x 55 x 55 cm
Sculpture

$6,996

Aima Saint Hunon, Lala Orange, Sculpture

Aima Saint Hunon

Lala Orange, 2015
10 x 30 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$949 $1,897

Elyane Gauthier, Amazone, Sculpture

Elyane Gauthier

Amazone, 2018
69 x 16 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$1,897

Ibrahim Ouattara, Elégance 1, Sculpture

Ibrahim Ouattara

Elégance 1, 2019
65 x 29 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$652

Robert de Sutter, Buste 17, Sculpture

Robert de Sutter

Buste 17, 2018
39 x 12 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$4,091

YJonathan DARMON, Passion, Sculpture

YJonathan DARMON

Passion, 2000
30 x 12 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$1,180

Jak Espi, Pinky Love, Sculpture

Jak Espi

Pinky Love, 1966
34 x 22 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$3,557

Michal Kubiak, Sitting, Sculpture

Michal Kubiak

Sitting, 2016
65 x 10 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$5,099

Gaulmier Jean-Luc, Confetti, Sculpture

Gaulmier Jean-Luc

Confetti, 2016
90 x 58 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$3,794

Hyttenhove, Myron-ton, Myron-tienne / One-armed discobolus, Sculpture

Hyttenhove

Myron-ton, Myron-tienne / One-armed discobolus, 2017
22 x 15 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$1,885

Marina, Pin-up noir et or, Sculpture

Marina

Pin-up noir et or, 2018
95 x 22 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$9,486

Paul Silvestre, L'enfant au bateau, Sculpture

Paul Silvestre

L'enfant au bateau, 1940
23 x 7 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$1,423

Rodan Kane Hart, Le Petit Penseur, Sculpture

Rodan Kane Hart

Le Petit Penseur, 2021
100 x 45 x 50 cm
Sculpture

$10,671

Fabienne Claesen, Greta, Sculpture

Fabienne Claesen

Greta, 2017
84.5 x 9.8 x 9.8 cm
Sculpture

$2,964

Lydie Arickx, Dans tes bras, Sculpture

Lydie Arickx

Dans tes bras, 2011
30 x 14.5 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$28,457

Tasic, Noeud, Sculpture

Tasic

Noeud, 2004
82 x 40 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$5,929

Le Maghien, Maghiër en maghiërin met koffer (groen), Sculpture

Le Maghien

Maghiër en maghiërin met koffer (groen), 2014
67 x 50 x 60 cm
Sculpture

$17,786

Alain Quercia, Femme au masque d'aigle blanc, Sculpture

Alain Quercia

Femme au masque d'aigle blanc, 2017
40 x 10 x 9 cm
Sculpture

$4,269

Our recommendations Brno Del Zou, Nymphe, Sculpture

Brno Del Zou

Nymphe, 2016
180 x 50 x 50 cm
Sculpture

$10,078

Duvert Gaël, La femme papillon, Sculpture

Duvert Gaël

La femme papillon, 2016
250 x 100 x 100 cm
Sculpture

$14,228

Liu Bolin, Red Hand, Sculpture

Liu Bolin

Red Hand, 2006
53 x 15 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$5,929

Christine Caupin-Fos, Grâce dans l'azur, Sculpture

Christine Caupin-Fos

Grâce dans l'azur, 2020
29 x 27 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$445

Idan Zareski, Lady Foot xs, Sculpture

Idan Zareski

Lady Foot xs, 2020
30 x 11 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$2,253

Sylvie Bourely, B'elle endormie, Sculpture

Sylvie Bourely

B'elle endormie, 2020
12 x 54 x 19 cm
Sculpture

$1,186

Emilio Greco, Head of Woman, Sculpture

Emilio Greco

Head of Woman, 1950
48 x 27 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$8,893

Yousha Bashir, Autoportrait de la série "Beyond me" n°583, Sculpture

Yousha Bashir

Autoportrait de la série "Beyond me" n°583, 2015
195 x 70 x 50 cm
Sculpture

$2,964

Oriol Texidor, Immersio 268, Sculpture

Oriol Texidor

Immersio 268, 2019
42 x 30 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$1,779

Rose Hartman, Classic Lady III, Sculpture

Rose Hartman

Classic Lady III, 2017
30.5 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm
Sculpture

$2,450

Paige Bradley, Inspiration (Third Life) w/ electricity, The Metamorphosis, Sculpture

Paige Bradley

Inspiration (Third Life) w/ electricity, The Metamorphosis, 2018
43.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
Sculpture

$12,000

Zion, Amiche, Sculpture

Zion

Amiche, 2018
23 x 48 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$830

Philippe Aïni, Le Manteau de Couleur, Sculpture

Philippe Aïni

Le Manteau de Couleur, 2002
37 x 15.5 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$1,500

Miguel Berrocal, Minicariatide, Sculpture

Miguel Berrocal

Minicariatide, 1960
15 x 6 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$2,134

Delphine Lepoutre, Angirika - 1/1, Sculpture

Delphine Lepoutre

Angirika - 1/1, 2019
81 x 13 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$1,186

Caroline Chopin, Smoky 3, Sculpture

Caroline Chopin

Smoky 3, 2020
23.5 x 8 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$427

Roger Ferrier, Leda et le cygne, Sculpture

Roger Ferrier

Leda et le cygne, 1950
26.5 x 20 x 2 cm
Sculpture

$442

Evelyne Vella, Avenir, Sculpture

Evelyne Vella

Avenir, 2020
15 x 25 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$1,186

Hossein Azadi, N°1213 from the Dreamless collection, Sculpture

Hossein Azadi

N°1213 from the Dreamless collection, 2019
110 x 35 x 35 cm
Sculpture

$1,779

Rebecca de Cachard, Désir, Sculpture

Rebecca de Cachard

Désir, 2019
56 x 77 x 40 cm
Sculpture

$4,980

Anne Sophie Migné, Regard 2, Sculpture

Anne Sophie Migné

Regard 2, 2020
50 x 30 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,126

Pericle Fazzini, Dante Meets Virgil, Sculpture

Pericle Fazzini

Dante Meets Virgil, 1970
33 x 25 x 2.5 cm
Sculpture

$10,671

Giuseppe Mazzullo, Passo di Danza, Sculpture

Giuseppe Mazzullo

Passo di Danza, 1946
12 x 4 x 3.2 cm
Sculpture

$2,134

Andrey Antonov, Search, Sculpture

Andrey Antonov

Search, 2002
42 x 67 x 39 cm
Sculpture

$82,999

Nicole Besnainou, Eclatante 3, Sculpture

Nicole Besnainou

Eclatante 3, 2019
24 x 11 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,296

Víctor Hugo Yáñez Piña, The Little Self Made Man, Sculpture

Víctor Hugo Yáñez Piña

The Little Self Made Man, 2020
52 x 20 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$5,336

Agnès Bouche, L'infini, Sculpture

Agnès Bouche

L'infini, 2016
6 x 41 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$1,423

Claire McArdle, Chiara, Sculpture

Claire McArdle

Chiara, 2017
83.8 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm
Sculpture

$10,500

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