Nude with Amaryllis

Date Created
Work Medium
35.5 in x 35.25 in x ;44.5" x 44"
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Historical Context
Alten painted this model at least three times while he lived in Grand Rapids. Even though he was a respected artist, the idea of a woman posing nude for a married man raised a few eyebrows. In 1906, the Grand Rapids Herald even ran a story speculating on the identity of a local woman he had hired as a model.

Alten is quoted by the paper as saying: “Grand Rapids is the hardest city I ever saw in which to get a suitable model... there is a decided aversion to posing in the nude. People … will not take up the work for fear the finger of scorn will be pointed at them for once having been a model for some great painter. Such a view is not only narrow, it is is for the sake of art and art alone, and as such, is sacred to anyone who has any artistic instinct. I respect my models as truly as I do any good woman and so do my students”
Nude brunette with Amaryllis flower seated upon white bed.
Gift of George H. and Barbara Gordon

Painting Origin

Grand Rapids