A collection of programmes probing Western art's long-held obsession with the nude. Mary Beard's witty, personal view on the story of the nude in western art. Acclaimed play about Artemisia Gentileschi and the rape trial that gripped Rome. Josie d'Arby presents a live life drawing masterclass, which viewers can take part in too. The history of the humble fig leaf throughout 2, years of western art and ethics.
The Nude in Western Art and Its Beginnings in Antiquity
BBC Two - Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude, Series 1
Copy of work attributed to Polykleitos. Jean Sorabella Independent Scholar. Figures with no clothes are peculiarly common in the art of the Western world. This situation might seem perfectly natural when one considers how frequent the state of undress is in every human life, from birth to the bath to the boudoir. In art, however, naked figures relate very little to these humble conditions and instead reflect a very complex set of formal ideals, philosophical concerns, and cultural traditions. Though meaningful throughout the sweep of Western art, the nude was a particular focus of artistic innovation in the Renaissance and later academic traditions of the seventeenth century and after.
Female Nudity in Western Art
Renaissance artists transformed the course of Western art history by making the nude central to artistic practice. The revival of interest in classical antiquity and a new focus on the role of the image in Christian worship encouraged artists to draw from life, resulting in the development of newly vibrant representations of the human body. The ability to represent the naked body would become the standard for measuring artistic genius but its portrayal was not without controversy, particularly in religious art. Although many artists argued that athletic, finely proportioned bodies communicated virtue, others feared their potential to incite lust, often with good reason. More like this: - A Victorian painter of gender fluidity - How black women were whitewashed by art - Eight odd details hidden in masterpieces.
Throughout Western art, the subject of the female nude has practically been used since the beginning of time. To the point where you can find a depiction in almost every art period. Since the topic is so popular, many have overlooked its significance: combining generations of the female nude into one category.