Oct 09, 2014 - Sale 2359

Sale 2359 - Lot 51

Estimate: $ 35,000 - $ 50,000
Untitled (Study of a Standing Male Nude).

Charcoal and pencil on cream laid paper, circa 1891-93. 590x394 mm; 23 1/4x15 1/2 inches. Signed in pencil, upper right recto.

Provenance: the estate of the artist, with the artist's estate ink stamp, and signed and inscribed "Early Study in Julien's, Paris" by the artist's son Jesse O. Tanner in ink, on the backing paper verso; private Detroit collection.

This accomplished academic study by Henry Ossawa Tanner is a very scarce work on a paper - a signed, early figure drawing. We believe this academic study is the earliest and largest drawing by the artist to come to auction. On the frame back, his son had identified this drawing from "Julien's" or the Académie Julian, where Henry Ossawa Tanner studied upon arriving in Paris in 1891. The recent retrospective Henry Ossawa Tanner - Modern Spirit included another impressive example, his Study of a Negro Man, circa 1891-93, from the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Anna O. Marley describes how Tanner could attend weekly studio sessions with the model to create such académies or life drawings at the school, which was very popular with American artists at the turn of the century. In the large Tanner holdings of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, only two figure studies of the seventeen drawings in their collection appear to be from the same period. Marley pp. 21 and 182.