Creation of the antique bronze figurines - from the first cast to the finished sculpture
Then, a first cast of the model is manufactured from which an original model is formed manually in order to cast a so-called "master mould". From this mould, raw castings are produced which are needed by the chaser who works on these raw castings for many hours until the renowned antique bronze sculpture is finished. The final but probably most important step in the production is the painting of the object. In former times, especially larger bronze sculptures were fire gilded and stove-enamelled. This process had to be discontinued due to the occurrence of highly toxic fumes. Nowadays, most manufacturers work with light-resistant oxides and colours made from pigment powders in combination with carrier varnishes. This technique is also called cool painting. As the structures of the figurine are fittingly highlighted and accented by the colours, the painting of a sculpture is a crucial part of its quality features.
The establishment of "Viennese Erotic Nudes" as an association
In the middle of the 19th century, the foundation of "Viennese Erotic Nudes" as an association of the so-called "Wiener Gelbgießer" occurred. About 120 businesses were organised in this association, enough to publish their own magazine which informed people about their activities and innovations. Since the Biedermeier period, small sculptures were made from bronze and used as ornamental objects. Under the influence of the Viennese workshops and the revaluation of the arts and crafts, the small sculptures of the Erotic Nude variation became more and more sophisticated and developed into treasured collectibles.
A short period of glory at the turn of the century
The booming period of Erotic Nudes spans only less than forty years, lasting roughly from 1880 until the beginning of the first world war in 1914. Both during the first as well as the second world war, bronze sculptures were melted down in order to meet the high demand for metals of the arms industry.
Erotic Nudes - popular collectibles
Viennese bronze figurines have been and continue to be popular collectibles. All over the world, groups as well as individual collectors want to gather certain motifs or small erotic figurines, according to their personal tastes.
Famous creators of Erotic Nudes
One of the most well-known manufacturers is the company "Fritz Bermann, Bronzewarenerzeugung und Ziseleur GmbH". This company, which is rich in tradition, was founded in 1850 and has offered high-quality bronze figurines ever since. Since the 19th century, around 10,000 works have been created by different artists. Sculptors still reissue and cast the most beautiful specimen from this fund. The specifically created and registered hallmark on every figurine guarantees its authenticity and lasting value.
The company "Wiener Bronze Manufaktur" (WBM) is situated in Vienna and was founded by Harald P. Höller, whose grandfather Eduard Neusch-Höller already worked as a modeller for famous companies. Among other things, Neusch-Höller contributed to a very well-known Viennese bronze sculpture which deals with US-American history and can currently be found in the White House in Washington, DC. Another famous work that was painted by Neusch-Höller is the "Spanish Horsemen", which is a model of the Spanish Riding School made from bronze which was given to Queen Elizabeth by the Austrian government on the occasion of her coronation in 1953.
Erotic Nudes and Franz Bergmann: inseparably connected
There is no one else who is more closely connected to the time of the famous Viennese Erotic Nudes than the founder of the company that bears his name: Franz Bergmann. Born in 1838 in Gablonz, he started his professional career as the help of a girdler. In doing so, he showed his attachment to the fashion industry of his birthplace. However, it is not documented whether or not he actually took his final examination in this field of work. What is known is that he came to Vienna as a young man to seek his fortune. With Josef Ott, a bronze processor, as his mentor, he learned the profession of a chaser, and thanks to his talent, he was already able to take his master's examination at the age of 22. In the same year, he married the daughter of his mentor, which could be seen as a sign of luck.
The way to fame leads through Paris
During the Parisian world exhibition in 1884, Franz Bergmann got to know the famous French bronze art. He was particularly impressed by the patinating technique, which is the artificial generation of a natural patina in order to increase the artistic effect of a sculpture. When he returned to Vienna, he really wanted to produce his own bronze figurines, so he founded a company. Soon, he began to introduce new methods of production to meet the increase in demand. In the middle of Vienna's formative "Ringstrasse" era with its mundane palaces, his sculptures sold like hot cakes. Especially the emergent liberal bourgeoisie appreciated his little works of art. All in all, Franz Bergmann had his finger on the pulse of the time. A new style of home furnishing established itself in which it was trendy to show off little sculptures in glass cabinets or use them as decadently luxurious children's toys.
The style of Erotic Nudes
Sculptures in the exotic, oriental style such as elephants, monkeys or lions, but especially scenes out of the life of the orient were immensely popular in this epoch that was enamoured with the orient in a kind of romanticised yearning. Franz Bergmann detected this trend and offered his customers skilfully made models and sculptures that were imaginatively designed. He particularly focused on the styling which was supposed to underline the figurines' natural movements as well as the precise reproduction of their facial features. Consequently, people felt like they could see the emotional depths of the depicted figures. Humans and animals alike, all of his delicate figurines seem to tell little stories. Additionally, the observer again and again discovers new details that show a rather impressive inclination towards accuracy.
The success of Franz Bergmann
Franz Bergmann was undoubtedly a skilful craftsman and most certainly a significant artist. His intuitive sense for business enabled his company to be successful for generations. The company Bergmann existed until 1960. Nowadays, Erotic Nudes by Franz Bergmann are ranked among the most sought-after collectibles of their kind. At auctions, you can still buy bronze figurines made by him, and with them you also purchase a piece of the contemporary history and the spirit of the 19th century.
From Bergmann to Bermann
Many artists of that time unfortunately stayed anonymous, making the hallmarks on the exhibits the only clues to their artistic work. Aside from Franz Bergmann, his oldest son Franz Xaver Bergmann is also an important representative of the Viennese Erotic Nudes. Around 1900, Franz Xaver Bergmann created the famous jar symbol as a hallmark on all bronze sculptures of his company. Another significant artist and businessman was Fritz Bermann, whose company has existed since 1850. The entrepreneur Carl Hagenauer also produced erotic figurines that were designed according to both his own as well as other designs. However, he later on increasingly turned towards contemporary art. There were about 80 companies in Vienna at the turn of the century, all of which produced high-quality and artistically precious sculptures. Yet, most of them had to close when people's tastes and sense of fashion changed.
The beginnings of the so-called Viennese Bronze and Erotic Nudes go back to the Biedermeier period and are nowadays, with regard to their long-standing and turbulent career, regarded as popular collectibles among art connoisseurs.
Erotic Nudes are small-scale sculptures that are cast from bronze which experienced a boom around the turn of the century as decorative figurines which were especially popular decorations in smoking rooms. With regard to their history and their exciting uniqueness (including some scandals and being melted down), the popularity of Viennese bronzes and Erotic Nudes within the circle of art enthusiasts is still strong.
From exotic scenes to blunt eroticism: an overview of the genre
The motifs are manifold and all of them impress through their naturalistic and bald depictions. A large part of the repertoire of motifs are made up of animal depictions, either accompanied by human figurines or as individual portrayals. The first motifs concentrated on the representation of human figurines from exotic realms in particular, for example moors, orientals or Indians. Often, they were depicted in the company of a mount and with several other typical attributes, for example orientals on camels with carpets or Indians on horses with tents.
The next developmental stage of Vienna's bronze art was the focus on sometimes rather bizarre depictions of animals in human clothes doing human things. Those bronzes are characterised by an imaginative creativeness and an almost fairytale-like visualisation of motifs that for instance produced slightly overdrawn depictions of dogs or elephants that were standing on two legs, dressed in dinner jackets and pants, with their forelegs in their pockets. A special kind of those Vienna bronzes are Erotic Nudes that fully exploit the charm of the bronze genre. Those sculptures combine highly erotic fantasies with a proper dose of humour, representing sophisticated and artistic masterpieces.
A special feature and artistic gimmick of those erotic statues are the springs and hinges that are often built into them, allowing the figurines to be moved for the amusement or erotic excitement of the observer. Thereby, the mechanisms, for instance, sent up the skirts of female figurines in order to give a view of their naked bodies, or they let couples walk towards each other. Those so-called "mechanical bronzes" could often be found in smoking rooms, which were exclusive saloons reserved for gentlemen.
The origin of the exciting sculptures in Vienna
Erotic Nudes have always been coined with the name of the artist or the producer in order to prove the authenticity of the bronze figurine. An interesting fact is that the name on the erotic scenes was imprinted backwards, probably in order to avoid one's name being discredited by the indecent sculpture. The strong demand for the erotic sculptures however caused the production of countless precious and beautiful works of art, most of which were furnished with the signature NAMGREB.
In the category of Erotic Nudes there are often depictions of erotic symbioses between human and mythological figures. A typical motif is the lustful faun or horny devil who seduces a bashful virgin. In this way, the subdued prudishness of the late Biedermeier period and the 19th century contrastively clashes with an uninhibited, excessive sexual instinct, which is the basis of the inimitable charm of the erotic statues.
Humorous sex poses between such dissimilar sexual partners are accompanied by sculptures with an oversized phallus, be it on a mythological creature or in a grotesque and ironical way as part of a king who, besides his typical attributes of power of the sceptre, the imperial orb and the crown, also presents a delicate rosette on the top of his penis. Such depictions represent themselves to the observer with an excellent ingenuity and grant the viewer exclusive pleasure with their unique fusion of bizarre fantasy and subtle humour. Besides portrayals of couples, the repertoire of Erotic Nudes also offers several sexual acts in various positions, ranging from subtly bashful to offensively demanding. There are no limitations to the creation of these fantastic Erotic Nudes: even unions of human-like figurines, or rather fauns, and animals, bucks in particular, have been artistically depicted.
Erotic sculptures for sale online
At Bronze Shop, you can find a wide range of figurines from the time of the Vienna bronze. In our shop you will find erotic sculptures for sale by artists such as Dupré, for example the king with the oversized phallus, or figurines by Lambeaux and Milo as well as typical depictions of anthropomorphic animal figurines like the elephant in the dinner jacket.
In order to give you the best possible shopping conditions, we offer you numerous advantages. You can have a closer look at all ordered products in the calm of your own home, observe them from all sides and convince yourself of their high quality within the first 14 days of your purchase. Within this period, you can unrestrictedly send the sculpture back to us. We also designed our payment options around your needs. You are able to choose between purchase on account, PayPal, direct debit, credit card payment, cash on delivery or advance payment. This way, you can always choose the type of payment that is most comfortable for you. In order for you to receive your purchased bronze figurine as soon as possible, we will send it to the shipping company within 48 hours after your order. Subsequently, the carefully packaged object will then arrive at your home. By the way, if you intend to buy an especially valuable sculpture, but the total amount is too high, we can also gladly offer you a handy instalment payment option. If you have any more questions, just contact us. We will be glad to help you in any way we can.