The Male Nude: Eighteenth-century drawings from the Paris Academy


Drawing and illustration

Wallace Collection

Until Sun Jan 19

  • Dumont le Romain

    'Nude man sleeping and leaning on a rock…' (1742)

    © ENSBA, Paris

    Dumont le Romain
  • Isabey

    'Seated man, leaning on his right arm' (1789)

    © ENSBA, Paris

  • Plattemontagne

    'Sleeping man, legs bent' (1687)

    © ENSBA, Paris

  • Antoine Jean-Gros

    'Man standing, striking a bull' (1790)

    © ENSBA, Paris

    Antoine Jean-Gros
  • Bachelier

    'Male, lying down' (undated)

    © ENSBA, Paris

  • Carl van Loo

    Study of a man sat on a rock (undated)

    © ENSBA, Paris

    Carl van Loo
  • Carle Van Loo

    Male seated, face on, arms raised (undated)

    © ENSBA, Paris

    Carle Van Loo
  • Charles de la Fosse

    'Man seated on the ground, head turned to the left' (undated)

    © ENSBA, Paris

    Charles de la Fosse
  • Coypel

    'Man lying down, legs bent' (1687)

    © ENSBA, Paris

  • Dandré-Bardon

    'Male, stretched out, right arm raise' (1769)

    © ENSBA, Paris

  • François Boucher

    'Study of a man lying down…' (1739)

    © ENSBA, Paris

    François Boucher
  • Godefroid

    'Man viewed from behind, leaning to the left' (1782)

    © ENSBA, Paris

  • J Taraval

    'Male, standing, viewed from the back, left knee raised' (undated)

    © ENSBA, Paris

    J Taraval
  • J-F de Troy

    'Two men lying on the body of a horse' (undated)

    © ENSBA, Paris

    J-F de Troy

Dumont le Romain

'Nude man sleeping and leaning on a rock…' (1742)

© ENSBA, Paris

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Wonderful exhibition giving an insight into the development of creative talent in 18C. Really enjoyed the way the exhibition was linked to examples of later work by some of the artists held in the permanent collection. Well worth a visit - especially as it is free!

Curated London

The Wallace Collection is best known as the home of Frans Hals’ famous Laughing Cavalier. It is comprised of the expansive art collection of four Marquesses of Hertford and, latterly, Lord Wallace. They also put on a terrific programme of temporary exhibitions, of which this is one. The world-renowned École National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris was founded in the late 17th Century to train French artists to rival the Italians. A thorough grounding in drawing was central to the rigorous training programme, and life drawing formed a key component. The French believed that the nude male form was the epitome of beauty. And who are we to argue? This exhibition presents 37 works in chalk and charcoal from the École’s archive. Each image captures the artistic fashion of the day: strong, sinewy demigods in poses from classical mythology. While the model’s modesty isn’t preserved in many of the images, they transcend the sexual to focus solely on the aesthetic. While the permanent collection contains relatively few drawings, they do have an outstanding range of 18th Century French paintings. Each of these painters would not have been worthy of collection by the Hertfords had it not been for the lessons they learned from making these drawings. This temporary exhibition therefore provides a useful background and context for the works in oil upstairs. For more of the latest London arts reviews, check out | @curatedlondon