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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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Vita Opolskyte, Untitled IX, Fine Art Drawings

Vita Opolskyte

Untitled IX, 2020
8.3 x 11.8 x 0.4 inch
Fine Art Drawings


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

Horst P. Horst

Yasmin Le Bon Chanel contact sheet, Vogue UK, 1986
70.9 x 54.1 x 0.1 inch


Bogdan Dyulgerov, Waiting, Sculpture

Bogdan Dyulgerov

Waiting, 2020
19.7 x 5.1 x 4.7 inch


Levalet, Vase, Sculpture


Vase, 2017
16.5 x 9.8 x 9.8 inch


Sandra Chevrier, La cage ou les gens pleurent, Sculpture

Sandra Chevrier

La cage ou les gens pleurent, 2018
11.8 x 8.7 x 6.7 inch


Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Etude de Fille, Print

Ernest Pignon-Ernest

Etude de Fille, 1998
10.2 x 14.2 x 0.4 inch


Béatrice Fernando, Alioune, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Alioune, 2019
67.3 x 11.8 x 6.7 inch


Our recommendations Lutfi Romhein, Ailée, Sculpture

Lutfi Romhein

Ailée, 2019
22.8 x 9.8 x 9.8 inch


Charles Lapicque, Sans titre, Fine Art Drawings

Charles Lapicque

Sans titre, 1966
11.7 x 8.1 inch
Fine Art Drawings


Kokimoto, Seascape 11, Painting


Seascape 11, 2010
39.4 x 27.6 x 0.1 inch


Ron English, African Elephant, Print

Ron English

African Elephant, 2015
34.3 x 23.8 inch


Shaka, Prédation #2, Fine Art Drawings


Prédation #2, 2020
78.7 x 51.2 inch
Fine Art Drawings


Our recommendations Gérard Schlosser, Presque vide, Painting

Gérard Schlosser

Presque vide, 2015
39.4 x 39.4 x 1 inch


Bernard Frize, Extension 2, Print

Bernard Frize

Extension 2, 2013
27.6 x 19.7 inch


Barthélémy Toguo, Blowing Headache, Print

Barthélémy Toguo

Blowing Headache, 2017
27.6 x 33.5 inch


Stew, Sans titre, Painting


Sans titre, 2019
27.6 x 35.4 x 2 inch


Philfri, - Rodeo 2, Painting


- Rodeo 2, 2017
36.2 x 25.6 x 1 inch


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

Véronique Clanet

La Danse ---- numérotée 7/8., 2018
13.4 x 7.9 x 7.1 inch


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

André Robillard

L'océan pacifique indien, 2015
7.9 x 39.4 x 2 inch
Fine Art Drawings


Gelitin, Horse, Sculpture


Horse, 2011
47.2 x 19.7 x 39.4 inch


Emilio Greco, Nanda, Print

Emilio Greco

Nanda, 1955
22.4 x 17.7 x 0.1 inch


Giorgio de Chirico, Muse of the Music, Sculpture

Giorgio de Chirico

Muse of the Music, 1980
9.4 x 2.3 x 0 inch


Claude Lévêque, Golden World, Print

Claude Lévêque

Golden World, 2018
29.5 x 41.3 inch


Polo 51.67, L'abeille des papes, Painting

Polo 51.67

L'abeille des papes, 2018
39.4 x 59.1 inch


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

Marcel Dumont

Les Alpilles en été / The Alpilles in summer, 1994
25.6 x 19.7 inch


Joëlle Acoulon, 24 février 2018, Photography

Joëlle Acoulon

24 février 2018, 2018
23.6 x 27.6 inch


Guillaume Couffignal, Architecture, Sculpture

Guillaume Couffignal

Architecture, 2019
20.5 x 8.7 x 4.3 inch


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

Xurxo Gómez-Chao

A temporalidade da paisaxe I, 2017
39.4 x 39.4 inch


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

Rik Van de Walle

What's on your mind, 2017
47.2 x 47.2 x 2 inch


Virginie Soubeiroux, Homeostasis, Photography

Virginie Soubeiroux

Homeostasis, 2017
70.9 x 39.4 inch


Claire Fontaine, Untitled (Castor 1), Print

Claire Fontaine

Untitled (Castor 1), 2013
35.4 x 47.2 inch


Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni, Corrida, Print

Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni

Corrida, 1960
19.7 x 27.6 x 0.1 inch


Henry Maurice, Untitled, Print

Henry Maurice

Untitled, 1973
19.7 x 27.6 x 0.1 inch


Leonardo Castellani, Seafood, Print

Leonardo Castellani

Seafood, 1943
27.2 x 19.3 x 0 inch


Fritz Wotruba, Abstract, Print

Fritz Wotruba

Abstract, 1971
18.5 x 24.8 x 0.1 inch


Ernesto Jesus Garcia, Black Holes V, Painting

Ernesto Jesus Garcia

Black Holes V, 2019
11.6 x 16.3 x 0.4 inch


Corinne Dubreuil, Serena, Photography

Corinne Dubreuil

Serena, 2017
15.7 x 23.6 inch


George Segal, Girl in Bright Red Shirt, Print

George Segal

Girl in Bright Red Shirt, 1976
27.8 x 39 x 0 inch


Chas Laborde, People Conversation, Fine Art Drawings

Chas Laborde

People Conversation, 1930
12.2 x 8 x 0.1 inch
Fine Art Drawings


Alexander de Cadenet, Epicentre, Olympic Games Beijing, Print

Alexander de Cadenet

Epicentre, Olympic Games Beijing, 2008
27.6 x 37.2 x 0 inch


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

Claude Mollard

L'Homme naturel de JJ Rousseau, Ermenonville, 2007
19.7 x 13.4 inch


Jean-Marie Laugero, Le radeau, Painting

Jean-Marie Laugero

Le radeau, 2017
51.2 x 59.1 inch


Antonio de Felipe, Comerse el coco II, Painting

Antonio de Felipe

Comerse el coco II, 2009
45.7 x 35 x 1.6 inch


Emile Dien, L'homme aux lunettes, Painting

Emile Dien

L'homme aux lunettes, 1989
47.2 x 31.5 x 0.8 inch


Thomas Reheisser, Sans titre 7.8.2, Painting

Thomas Reheisser

Sans titre 7.8.2, 2019
57.9 x 38.2 x 0.8 inch


Aurelija Simkute, Little Pebble, Sculpture

Aurelija Simkute

Little Pebble, 2019
7.1 x 4.9 x 3.5 inch


James Coignard, Arlequin bleu, Sculpture

James Coignard

Arlequin bleu, 2005
19.7 x 6.3 x 2.4 inch


Antonio Dias, Navegador, Print

Antonio Dias

Navegador, 2015
41.7 x 27.6 inch


Juliette Clovis, Izanami, Sculpture

Juliette Clovis

Izanami, 2017
13.4 x 13.4 x 10.6 inch


Jacques Doucet, Jabadao, Painting

Jacques Doucet

Jabadao, 1987
76.4 x 51.2 inch


Marianne Cresson, Tissus associatif, Sculpture

Marianne Cresson

Tissus associatif, 2011
53.1 x 19.7 x 4.3 inch


ODN, BB by ODN, Painting


BB by ODN, 2019
53.1 x 43.3 x 0.8 inch


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

Sorane Rotellini

Les bijoux indiscrets #3, 2013
16.9 x 13 x 0.8 inch
Fine Art Drawings


Sara Cao, Dung Beetles, Print

Sara Cao

Dung Beetles, 2013
25.6 x 19.7 inch


Jean-François Talivez, Power struggle, Photography

Jean-François Talivez

Power struggle, 1992
23.6 x 15.7 inch


Basil Ivan Rákóczi, Sea Worm, Painting

Basil Ivan Rákóczi

Sea Worm, 1961
25.2 x 31.5 x 0.8 inch


Julia Chevallier Polak, Nature en délire III, Painting

Julia Chevallier Polak

Nature en délire III, 2019
55.1 x 64.6 x 0 inch


Our recommendations Emilio Pérez, After Genji, Print

Emilio Pérez

After Genji, 2017
27.6 x 118.1 inch


Franta, Tête, Painting


Tête, 2014
21.7 x 18.1 inch


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

Ambra Morosi

Assente e Amato (Absent and Beloved), 2018
63 x 39.4 x 0.2 inch


Tomislav Petranovic Rvat, Ptica, Print

Tomislav Petranovic Rvat

Ptica, 1974
25.4 x 17.7 x 0 inch


Costantino Persiani, Pope on the throne II, Print

Costantino Persiani

Pope on the throne II, 1970
37 x 28 x 0 inch


Sylvio Marchand, Bit Nitescere II, Painting

Sylvio Marchand

Bit Nitescere II, 2016
7.9 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch


Chiara Dazi, Le lutteur, Photography

Chiara Dazi

Le lutteur, 2003
23.6 x 23.6 inch


60 Artworks on 6175

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