States of Undress: Bathers and Nudes in Nineteenth-Century French Art

Sep 01, 2015 - Dec 13, 2015
Volpe Gallery

The nude figure has been a central motif in art since ancient times, and mastery of the human figure remains a key tenet of serious artistic training. This exhibition demonstrates how French artists relied on this tradition while modernizing the artistic nude during the nineteenth century. Academically trained artists such as Edouard Manet and Adolphe Willette cleverly challenged traditional history painting by featuring nude figures in their contemporary subjects, while artists like Henri Fantin-Latour and Theo van Rysselberghe created ethereal and imaginative settings for their nude figures. The exhibition features nineteenth-century prints, drawings, and photographs that reveal the attentive study that led to radical changes in depictions of the nude in French art.

Organized by Christine Giviskos, Associate Curator of European Art

Armand André-Louis Rassenfosse (Belgian, 1862-1934)

Poster for Salon des Cent exhibition, ca. 1896 

Color lithograph

Museum Purchase, David A. and Mildred H. Morse Acquisition Fund

© 2015 ADAGP, Paris/ ARS, New York

1986.0419

Photo Peter Jacobs