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Human body

'I wanted to conquer the world. But I also desperately wanted to understand human nature, and to know what was inside our bodies. To do this, I have spent whole night dissecting bodies, against the direct orders of the Pope. Nothing disgusts me. What I am looking for, truly, in all of my work and particularly in my painting, what I have looked for all my life, is to understand the mystery that is human nature' – from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century.


At the time of writing these notes, da Vinci had already made greater understanding of the human body the primary objective of his investigations. Dissection and study were key to his development of a holistic knowledge of anatomy, which da Vinci believed was vital to the perfect rendering of the nude figures which he painted and drew.


Little by little, the traditional image of the human figure was uprooted and in its place new ways of interpreting the body developed. Contemporary artists relentlessly questioned the traditional codes of figure drawing, liberally reworking the representation of the body to create a new image that was dislocated, geometric, deformed and disfigured.


The body as an artistic subject is at once desired, fantasised, dreamt, transformed, deformed. For painters, photographers and sculptors alike the body represents a rite of passage in their artistic development. Many people say that they most appreciate the talents of an artists by way of their control over the complexity of the figure. For example, it's clear even in Matisse's later, more abstract collages that he had perfectly mastered the human form.


Representation of the body is fundamental to Western art: first and foremost because it suggests a representation of the self, and therefore affirms the artist's own existence and coexistence with the environment that surrounds them. At the beginning of art history, the only bodies represented were the gods, supernatural beings, and spirits who had taken on human form. The body, nude or clothed, is at once one of the most widely depicted and most deeply polemical subjects in Western art (think of the scandals provoked by Courbet's 'Origins of the World', or Renoir's 'Picnic on the Grass').


The body has always been the primary subject of an array of themes, and its history is rich and ancient. Initially, depiction of the body was closely linked to religion, where the Word became flesh in Genesis, but later in more secular times the arousal of the artist when faced with the body made for an equally popular theme. Latterly the notion of the body as an object of beauty was subverted by Cubism until depictions of bodies no longer bore any resemblance to reality or made any pretence of respecting the rules of proportion.


Finally, in modern art the body has taken on an abstract shape within space, becoming one with the environment. In some instances, the body has become the artist's own support, as with Klein's models. The body as an abstract concept is tangible in many different manifestations in art, even in pieces as unassuming as some of Rothko's paintings. It remains the subject of inexhaustible inspiration and eternal debate.

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Horst P. Horst, Yasmin Le Bon Chanel contact sheet, Vogue UK, Photography

Horst P. Horst

Yasmin Le Bon Chanel contact sheet, Vogue UK, 1986
180.1 x 137.4 x 0.3 cm
Photography

$25,000

Vita Opolskyte, Untitled IX, Fine Art Drawings

Vita Opolskyte

Untitled IX, 2020
21 x 30 x 1 cm
Fine Art Drawings

$361

Bogdan Dyulgerov, Waiting, Sculpture

Bogdan Dyulgerov

Waiting, 2020
50 x 13 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$2,119

Levalet, Vase, Sculpture

Levalet

Vase, 2017
42 x 25 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$1,686

Sandra Chevrier, La cage ou les gens pleurent, Sculpture

Sandra Chevrier

La cage ou les gens pleurent, 2018
30 x 22 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$1,565

Béatrice Fernando, Alioune, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Alioune, 2019
171 x 30 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$3,130

Our recommendations Lutfi Romhein, Ailée, Sculpture

Lutfi Romhein

Ailée, 2019
58 x 25 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$3,612

Charles Lapicque, Sans titre, Fine Art Drawings

Charles Lapicque

Sans titre, 1966
29.7 x 20.5 cm
Fine Art Drawings

$903

Kokimoto, Seascape 11, Painting

Kokimoto

Seascape 11, 2010
100 x 70 x 0.3 cm
Painting

$2,408

Ron English, African Elephant, Print

Ron English

African Elephant, 2015
87 x 60.5 cm
Print

$733

Shaka, Prédation #2, Fine Art Drawings

Shaka

Prédation #2, 2020
200 x 130 cm
Fine Art Drawings

$13,244

Our recommendations Gérard Schlosser, Presque vide, Painting

Gérard Schlosser

Presque vide, 2015
100 x 100 x 2.5 cm
Painting

$28,895

Our recommendations Barthélémy Toguo, Take a Green Breath, Print

Barthélémy Toguo

Take a Green Breath, 2017
120 x 160 cm
Print

$3,010

Bernard Frize, Extension 2, Print

Bernard Frize

Extension 2, 2013
70 x 50 cm
Print

$433

Stew, Sans titre, Painting

Stew

Sans titre, 2019
70 x 90 x 5 cm
Painting

$2,167

Véronique Clanet, La Danse    ---- numérotée 7/8., Sculpture

Véronique Clanet

La Danse ---- numérotée 7/8., 2018
34 x 20 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$3,491

André Robillard, L'océan pacifique indien, Fine Art Drawings

André Robillard

L'océan pacifique indien, 2015
20 x 100 x 5 cm
Fine Art Drawings

$1,565

Philfri, - Rodeo 2, Painting

Philfri

- Rodeo 2, 2017
92 x 65 x 2.5 cm
Painting

$903

Albena Vatcheva, Minuit dans le jardin de l'enfance, Fine Art Drawings

Albena Vatcheva

Minuit dans le jardin de l'enfance, 2020
57 x 77 x 0.1 cm
Fine Art Drawings

$963

Gelitin, Horse, Sculpture

Gelitin

Horse, 2011
120 x 50 x 100 cm
Sculpture

$5,899

Emilio Greco, Nanda, Print

Emilio Greco

Nanda, 1955
57 x 45 x 0.2 cm
Print

$1,806

Giorgio de Chirico, Muse of the Music, Sculpture

Giorgio de Chirico

Muse of the Music, 1980
24 x 5.8 x 0.1 cm
Sculpture

$6,622

Virginie Soubeiroux, Homeostasis, Photography

Virginie Soubeiroux

Homeostasis, 2017
180 x 100 cm
Photography

$1,204

Claude Lévêque, Golden World, Print

Claude Lévêque

Golden World, 2018
75 x 105 cm
Print

$1,806

Joëlle Acoulon, 24 février 2018, Photography

Joëlle Acoulon

24 février 2018, 2018
60 x 70 cm
Photography

$891

Polo 51.67, L'abeille des papes, Painting

Polo 51.67

L'abeille des papes, 2018
100 x 150 cm
Painting

$2,649

Marcel Dumont, Les Alpilles en été / The Alpilles in summer, Painting

Marcel Dumont

Les Alpilles en été / The Alpilles in summer, 1994
65 x 50 cm
Painting

$710

Xurxo Gómez-Chao, A temporalidade da paisaxe I, Photography

Xurxo Gómez-Chao

A temporalidade da paisaxe I, 2017
100 x 100 cm
Photography

$3,064

Guillaume Couffignal, Architecture, Sculpture

Guillaume Couffignal

Architecture, 2019
52 x 22 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$3,371

Rik Van de Walle, What's on your mind, Painting

Rik Van de Walle

What's on your mind, 2017
120 x 120 x 5 cm
Painting

$5,418

Claire Fontaine, Untitled (Castor 1), Print

Claire Fontaine

Untitled (Castor 1), 2013
90 x 120 cm
Print

$2,408

Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni, Corrida, Print

Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni

Corrida, 1960
50 x 70 x 0.2 cm
Print

$903

Henry Maurice, Untitled, Print

Henry Maurice

Untitled, 1973
50 x 70 x 0.2 cm
Print

$349

Leonardo Castellani, Seafood, Print

Leonardo Castellani

Seafood, 1943
69 x 49 x 0.1 cm
Print

$1,144

Fritz Wotruba, Abstract, Print

Fritz Wotruba

Abstract, 1971
47 x 63 x 0.2 cm
Print

$1,144

Ernesto Jesus Garcia, Black Holes V, Painting

Ernesto Jesus Garcia

Black Holes V, 2019
29.5 x 41.5 x 1 cm
Painting

$2,889

Corinne Dubreuil, Serena, Photography

Corinne Dubreuil

Serena, 2017
40 x 60 cm
Photography

$1,264

George Segal, Girl in Bright Red Shirt, Print

George Segal

Girl in Bright Red Shirt, 1976
70.5 x 99 x 0.1 cm
Print

$2,047

Chas Laborde, People Conversation, Fine Art Drawings

Chas Laborde

People Conversation, 1930
31 x 20.3 x 0.2 cm
Fine Art Drawings

$783

Alexander de Cadenet, Epicentre, Olympic Games Beijing, Print

Alexander de Cadenet

Epicentre, Olympic Games Beijing, 2008
70 x 94.5 x 0.1 cm
Print

$722

Claude Mollard, L'Homme naturel de JJ Rousseau, Ermenonville, Photography

Claude Mollard

L'Homme naturel de JJ Rousseau, Ermenonville, 2007
50 x 34 cm
Photography

$2,047

Jean-Marie Laugero, Le radeau, Painting

Jean-Marie Laugero

Le radeau, 2017
130 x 150 cm
Painting

$2,769

Antonio de Felipe, Comerse el coco II, Painting

Antonio de Felipe

Comerse el coco II, 2009
116 x 89 x 4 cm
Painting

$12,040

Emile Dien, L'homme aux lunettes, Painting

Emile Dien

L'homme aux lunettes, 1989
120 x 80 x 2 cm
Painting

$989

Thomas Reheisser, Sans titre 7.8.2, Painting

Thomas Reheisser

Sans titre 7.8.2, 2019
147 x 97 x 2 cm
Painting

$3,612

Aurelija Simkute, Little Pebble, Sculpture

Aurelija Simkute

Little Pebble, 2019
18 x 12.5 x 9 cm
Sculpture

$3,491

James Coignard, Arlequin bleu, Sculpture

James Coignard

Arlequin bleu, 2005
50 x 16 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$5,538

Antonio Dias, Navegador, Print

Antonio Dias

Navegador, 2015
106 x 70 cm
Print

$3,010

Jacques Doucet, Jabadao, Painting

Jacques Doucet

Jabadao, 1987
194 x 130 cm
Painting

$45,750

Marianne Cresson, Tissus associatif, Sculpture

Marianne Cresson

Tissus associatif, 2011
135 x 50 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$1,926

ODN, BB by ODN, Painting

ODN

BB by ODN, 2019
135 x 110 x 2 cm
Painting

$4,455

Sorane Rotellini, Les bijoux indiscrets #3, Fine Art Drawings

Sorane Rotellini

Les bijoux indiscrets #3, 2013
43 x 33 x 2 cm
Fine Art Drawings

$1,084

Sara Cao, Dung Beetles, Print

Sara Cao

Dung Beetles, 2013
65 x 50 cm
Print

$602

Jean-François Talivez, Power struggle, Photography

Jean-François Talivez

Power struggle, 1992
60 x 40 cm
Photography

$1,059

Basil Ivan Rákóczi, Sea Worm, Painting

Basil Ivan Rákóczi

Sea Worm, 1961
64 x 80 x 2 cm
Painting

$2,223

Julia Chevallier Polak, Nature en délire III, Painting

Julia Chevallier Polak

Nature en délire III, 2019
140 x 164 x 0.1 cm
Painting

$3,371

Franta, Tête, Painting

Franta

Tête, 2014
55 x 46 cm
Painting

$5,418

Ambra Morosi, Assente e Amato (Absent and Beloved), Painting

Ambra Morosi

Assente e Amato (Absent and Beloved), 2018
160 x 100 x 0.5 cm
Painting

$5,297

Tomislav Petranovic Rvat, Ptica, Print

Tomislav Petranovic Rvat

Ptica, 1974
64.5 x 45 x 0.1 cm
Print

$482

Costantino Persiani, Pope on the throne II, Print

Costantino Persiani

Pope on the throne II, 1970
94 x 71 x 0.1 cm
Print

$361

Sylvio Marchand, Bit Nitescere II, Painting

Sylvio Marchand

Bit Nitescere II, 2016
20 x 30 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,324

Chiara Dazi, Le lutteur, Photography

Chiara Dazi

Le lutteur, 2003
60 x 60 cm
Photography

$1,204

ErriC, Another Dimension, Print

ErriC

Another Dimension, 2020
50 x 70 x 0.2 cm
Print

$229

Andoche Praudel, La porte du ciel, Sculpture

Andoche Praudel

La porte du ciel, 2017
23.5 x 23.5 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$2,167

60 Artworks on 6175

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