Recumbent Female Nude

Ado Vabbe Recumbent Female Nude End of 1930s – start of 1940s oil, paper 40.5 × 59 cm

Although Ado Vabbe had withdrawn from participating in exhibitions in the 1930s, new evidence continues to emerge indicating that he did not discontinue working. Not so many female nudes are known from his oeuvre of that time. Apparently, one of the reasons for this was a negative attitude towards nudes that was prevalent in the puritan society of that time (even at the end of the 1930s, Adamson-Eric’s nude portraits caused a scandal). In Vabbe’s case, however, not only a masculine view of a woman can be seen in this nude who has turned her back to the viewer and has withdrawn into herself, rather an image of Vabbe’s attitude regarding the world can also be seen. Vabbe had similarly turned away from the world in a certain sense, living more for himself or for art without wishing to participate in public discussions. The nude’s bright colours nevertheless allow us to assume that here the artist is not only seeking melancholy absence, but also prolonged enjoyment, aesthetic delights, and visual pleasure.