Search
Robert Rauschenberg (1925 - 2008) employs a nude model, huge sheets of photographic paper, flowers, leaves, and a sun lamp to create a new work.
VIEW GALLERY | 20 PHOTOS
American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925 - 2008) employs a nude model, huge sheets of photographic paper, flowers, leaves, and a sun lamp to create a new work in 1951. A master painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Rauschenberg is perhaps best-known for the painting-sculpture "combines" he created in the 1950s, which remain among the most influential artworks of the 20th century.Wallace Kirkland—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Robert Rauschenberg (1925 - 2008) employs a nude model, huge sheets of photographic paper, flowers, leaves, and a sun lamp to create a new work.
A large group of Farnsworth Art School students paint a nude model in 1946.
The American painter Thomas Hart Benton (1889 - 1975) works on his painting "Persephone"
Thomas Hart Benton at work on his painting, "The Rape of Persephone."
Skowhegan School of Art students in Maine sketch a nude model in 1948
Jean Negulesco (1900 - 1993) paints a portrait of a nude model in his Hollywood studio.
Moses Soyer (1899 - 1974) paints a portrait of a woman in his Greenwich Village studio.
Artist David Fredenthal (1914 - 1958) sketches a model.
German surrealist Fabius von Gugel (1910 - 2000) sketches a nude outdoors against a backdrop in Rome.
Model Doris Fischer takes a smoke break at the 100-year-old Art Institute of Chicago-affiliated school and colony in Ox-Bow, Michigan, in 1946.
Students at the University of Iowa draw from a nude model in 1961.
Sculptor Chaim Gross (1904 - 1991) works with a pair of models in his studio.
Artists paint a nude model in Big Sur, Calif., in 1959.
A nude model avoids cacti as an arthritis patient paints her in the American Southwest in 1948.
Students sketch a female nude model during life drawing class at the Skowhegan School of the Arts in 1948.
A painter prepares a billboard for the 1958 Ava Gardner film, The Naked Maja.
Sculptor Chaim Gross sketches a nude model in 1942.
A nude model poses for artist Fletcher Martin in 1940.
A self-portrait by the Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888 - 1978)
Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954) sculpts a nude female figure while sitting in bed in his apartment in 1951.
American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925 - 2008) employs a nude model, huge sheets of photographic paper, flowers, leav
... VIEW MORE

Wallace Kirkland—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
1 of 20

LIFE Celebrates Artists and Their Models

Feb 01, 2012

Even in the rarefied world of fine art, clichés often hold true.

For instance, the notion of the painter or sculptor in his or her studio, feverishly working, shaping, carving, drawing, with a model striking a specific pose—cliché or no cliché, that very scenario is still one of the realities of making art. The human body, after all, has long been the principal, singular form from which so many artists draw inspiration.

From the very first, LIFE magazine celebrated not only artists and their creations, but their process: drawing, sketching, sculpting, painting and all the other ways that the truly creative among us develop and bring into being their vision of what is, or perhaps what should be. Here, then, a gallery of photographs that pay tribute to the artist at work, and the simple, beautiful, living human form that so often serves as the artist's most enduringly reliable muse.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.