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"Male Nude with Banner and Pole," Rare Midcentury Painting by Lear



John Lear was a contemporary of Paul Cadmus and like him, highly focused on depicting the male figure in various settings and positions. However, Lear never gained fame beyond his circle of admirers in the Philadelphia area. Unlike Cadmus, Lear depicted nude or half-nude figures set in fantastic or exotic environments such as the circus, carnival, deserted beach, or Dali-esque setting. This richly-detailed watercolor, depicting a tall, lean male figure straddling a pole holding a Medieval banner, is a relatively early piece. Lear's earliest paintings tend to be in oil; later he moved to watercolor, and still later to colored pencil. (Dimensions include frame).


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