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Nude paintings

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Carré d'artistes presents a wide selection of contemporary nude paintings. The artistic nude is a privileged genre in the history of art. It has always been one of the favourite subjects of painters, sculptors, draughtsmen, not forgetting photographers.
Contemporary painting continues this artistic tradition by continuing to paint nudes, both female and male. 

If you want to buy a unique and original nude painting, you have come to the right place. You will find the nude painting that suits you thanks to our painters, join our large community of art lovers.
In our gallery or on our website, you will find in this selection of painting on canvas your happiness.

The history of nude painting 

Importance of nude painting

Representing the nudity of the human body in all its forms, regardless of sex, age or morphology, has been part of artistic learning for a very long time. It is an important and necessary step in any training in painting or sculpture. The history of art is punctuated by numerous drawings of nudes and sketches, in order to understand the anatomy, the postures, and the representation of a human body. Thus, there are many paintings of nudes in painting: whether it is the main subject, or a detail in a painting, nudity is very frequent in painting. 


The nude has been present in painting since prehistoric times. Indeed, prehistoric man generally painted (and sculpted) naked bodies. There are also traces of nudes in some ancient Egyptian bas-reliefs. But it was mainly in ancient Greece, and later in Rome, that nude painting developed considerably in art. Greek vases, for example, are frequently decorated with nude human figures, whether male or female. Conversely, nudity became rare and hidden during the Middle Ages, when it was associated with original sin and human misery. 

It was during the Renaissance that nude painting became more widespread and rid itself of its negative image. The artists of the time were inspired by antiquity, and the nude body was generally found in mythological paintings, such as Botticelli's The Birth of Venus (1485), or in religious paintings. 
But the Counter-Reformation prohibited nude representations in places of worship, and it was at this time that the nudes in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, as well as many other works of art, were altered. Later, nudity slowly returned to the forefront, with the paintings of Caravaggio for example. The paintings of Ingres, at the beginning of the 19th century, often reveal female nudity, as in La grande Odalisque , or La baigneuse de Valpinçon . 

Manet's Olympia can also be cited as one of the greatest paintings of the nude. There is, in fact, a return to the nude in the romantic or realistic period of the 19th century.  Gustave Courbet's L'origine du monde (The Origin of the World), in itself, sums up the artistic renewal in the representation of the nude in painting. Not forgetting non-European art which also explores the theme of the nude in painting.

The characteristics of the nude

Nude painting is characterised by the representation of the nudity of the human body. It also includes a representation that is partial, showing a part of the body that is usually hidden and alluding to nudity. Frequently, veils are used to cover the sexual parts of the body. 

It is often moral modesty or religious prohibitions that prevent painters from depicting the complete nudity of their subjects. Sometimes it is later additions to works that were considered shocking and obscene at a particular time. 
Art history is full of anecdotes on this subject. Today, the nude is accepted as a genre in its own right and is no longer censored, but in the twentieth century, some nude paintings still shock, like the young girls painted by Balthus. The nude can be provocative, a sensual and gentle image of a human body, or an allegory or an ingenious symbol. 

Its evolution 

Before the 20th century, the representation of a nude in a painting was not considered a subject in its own right: it was referred to as "nudity" and was reserved for religious, mythological or allegorical paintings. The nineteenth century began to upset conventions somewhat, followed by the twentieth century.  Cubism, abstract art and other pictorial schools redefined what a nude painting could be, as in Picasso's Les demoiselles d'Avignon (1906) and Modigliani's Reclining Nude (1917). The rise of psychoanalysis also changed the ordinary perception of nudity. Distortions in the bodies appear, as in Egon Schiele or Lucian Freud. 

At Carré d'artistes, discover nude paintings by contemporary artists: François Sahuc, Martine Chaperon, Yo, Corine Pagny, and many others, who offer you their perceptions of nude painting.

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1015 Artworks
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