Skip to main content
An Académie
French
/

This back view of a standing male nude is an académie, which is a study, usually a chalk drawing or an oil painting, made from a live male model in the studio. It is one of two académies in the National Gallery’s collection.

Such life studies formed part of the classical training of (male) artists from the eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, particularly in France. This example is almost certainly French and probably dates from the early nineteenth century. It is falsely signed: david 1805. Although not by David, it may be by a student in his studio, but it has not been possible to confirm this.

Models typically held ‘action’ poses, in part to display the musculature beneath the skin. A slightly raised foot was frequently a feature of these poses because, as here, it helped reveal the muscles of the lower leg. This model’s props – a shield, a spear and a helmet – are ones that were often used in these studies.

Key facts
Artist French
Full title An Académie
Date made early 19th century
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 80.6 x 64.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Sir Claude Phillips Bequest, 1924
Inventory number NG4061
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings after 1600
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo