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Nude Art In The Medieval And Renaissance Period

1592 words - 6 pages

This paper explains the history and development of the nude art in the Renaissance and Medieval period. In the Renaissance age the patrons and artist readopted the antiquity of the classical Greek into representation of nude. This is an epoch when drastic changes occurred in which Christian authorities no longer viewed the nude art as something conflicting or shameful. In contrary they believed that nude being reformed in ancient in classical antiquity portrays divine characteristics and emancipates the light that is pure and heroic (Long, 2008; Bonfante, 1989; Tinagli, 1997). To establish a further understanding why during the Renaissance age nude art brilliantly portrayed human anatomy, the work of some most remarkable artists such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Masaccio and Durer are described (Long, 2008) These minds welcomed the classical antiquity into their paintings and sculpturing and often the Greek athletic figures and mythological Venus figure were used as ideal models in depicting nude art (Bonfante, 1989). The classical renewal of nude art had specific roles attached to both male and female nude, in the world of art. The religious figures were depicted in antique forms as to convey their theological status and importance. In contrast to the Renaissance period, the Medieval representation of nude art was rare and Religious authorities oppose its development as they believed it may lead to sin and degradation (Long, 2008; Steinberg, 1983). In short this paper will present a historical overview of the nude art and how the diverse cultural attitude towards depiction of nude existed in each period.

The rediscovery of Greek and Roman classical antiquity in the Renaissance Italy created a perfect climate for creative minds to explore the various ways of representing nude art (Sorabella, 2000). The human body was depicted as both secular and sacred. In this period artist passionately embraced the new challenges adopting the models of classical antiquity and vast collection of the most creative pieces’ arose during this period (Bonfante, 1989). This era is marked as a pinnacle of the Italian culture. However, in Medieval time the ideas of developing the nude art was very conflicting to the minds of Christian leaders. They discouraged the images of the naked divinities and as a result there was little room or motivation to facilitate the creative invention of nude art (Sorabella, 2000). In this period, the beliefs that the nude body and nude art stirred lustful feelings, shame, humiliation and degradation was strongly held. In other words it was believed that a human of clear and higher moral conscious should be represented fully clothed. This implies that expression of nude art was rare in Medieval period and its resentment was strongly evident in ‘Adam and Eve’ paintings (Long, 2008). The main role of these paintings was to narrate the story that reflects the power of sin. In their disobedience to God, they become aware of their...

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