Bonhams : Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge (Russian, 1831-1894) Male nude
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge (Russian, 1831-1894) Male nude

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Lot 15*
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge
(Russian, 1831-1894)
Male nude

£ 70,000 - 90,000
US$ 91,000 - 120,000
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge (Russian, 1831-1894)
Male nude
signed in Cyrillic 'G. Pr. P.V. Basina uch. Nikolai Ge' (lower right); inscribed in Cyrillic with the Academy of Art Examination Committee award citation, dated December 23, 1853 and applied with the official wax seal of the Academy (upper left)
oil on canvas
84.5 x 89.5cm (33 1/4 x 35 1/4in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Submitted by the artist to the Examination Committee of the Russian Academy of Art in St. Petersburg and awarded a silver medal, First Class, on December 23, 1853.
    Acquired from a private Russian collector in Shanghai, a large Russian exile community established after the Revolution and Civil War, early 1930s.
    Thence by descent, 1975.


    Nikolai Nikolaevitch Ge's Male nude is a rare example of an early work by an artist primarily known for his later paintings on monumental religious themes. Ge completed Male nude during the formative years of his education at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg (1850-1857). Precisely rendered in the classical style, Male nude exemplifies Ge's technical and artistic mastery as a student of the Imperial Academy of Arts. The painting bears the official seal of the Academy and is inscribed: 'Non-matriculated student of the Imperial Academy of Arts Nikolai Ge, for the exam taking place in the Academy 23 December 1853 honoured for this study the award of the silver medal of the first distinction'. The Academy awarded the silver medal as the highest level of distinction for a work created by a pupil studying at the professional level. The gold medal was reserved solely for graduating students. Ge therefore received the greatest possible honour in artistic achievement for his Male nude, distinguishing the work as one of the cornerstones of the development of his career.

    The painting is stunning for its purist, focused approach. The sombre colour palette and neutral background draw the gaze to the partially reclined seated nude. In Male nude, Ge masterfully showcases his remarkable propensity to render a subject in the most lifelike way. Ge's realistic depiction of the figure's musculature, as well as the naturalistically rendered hair and beard are testament to his remarkable attention to detail. At the same time, the furrowed brow, downcast eyes and dark facial expression set a sombre and contemplative tone for the work.

    Картина Николая Петровича Ге «Обнажённый натурщик» является редким образцом раннего периода творчества художника, более известного своими поздними монументальными работами на религиозные темы. Написанная во время обучения Ге в Императорской Академии Художеств в Санкт-Петербурге (1850-1857), она исполнена в строгом классическом стиле и является показателем выдающегося технического и художественного мастерства Ге уже в самом начале его карьеры. В левом верхнем углу полотна была поставлена официальная печать Академии и сделана надпись «Вольноприходящий ученик Императорской Академии Художеств Николай Ге на экзамене происходившем в Академии 23 декабря 1853 года удостоен за сей этюд награды серебряною медалью первого достоинства». Академия присваивала серебряную медаль как высший уровень отличия за работу студентам, проходящим обучение на профессиональном уровне. Золотая медаль вручалась исключительно официально зачисленным студентам. Таким образом, Ге получил наивысшую степень отличия за свои художественные заслуги именно за «Обнажённого натурщика», что указывает на эту работу как на одну из ключевых в развитии его карьеры.

    Картина предельно сдержанна и монументальна. Темная палитра и нейтральный цвет заднего плана заставляют взгляд зрителя сосредоточиться на слегка склоненной сидящей фигуре обнаженного мужчины. В этом полотне Ге блестяще продемонстрировал свою выдающуюся способность запечатлеть изображаемый предмет абсолютно правдоподобно. Реалистичная передача мускулатуры и густоты тёмных волос свидетельствует о его незаурядном умении замечать индивидуальные особенности натуры. В то же время нахмуренные брови, опущенные к земле глаза и сосредоточенное, слегка суровое выражение лица героя этого произведения создают серьезную и сосредоточенную атмосферу.
Contacts
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge (Russian, 1831-1894) Male nude
Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge (Russian, 1831-1894) Male nude
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