This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Nudity In Art History Essay

2020 words - 9 pages

The word nude entered in the English dictionary in 1531, as a legal term "unsupported, not formally attested", from Latin nudus 'naked, bare'. It will be, in the eighteenth century, used to describe a painting or other artwork depicting a human figure in a state of near or total undress.
While the word nude has becoming positive in art history, due to the large use of it over the years, the word naked has been always negative. In fact, its definition is “having no clothes on, having no defence or protection, unprovided with needful or desirable accessories”. (1.)

Art historians dated the first nude back to around 30-25,000 BC, when a small statuette of a corpulent woman, called the Willendorf Venus, was adored as a goddess. Being naked and being embarrassed about that, will increase after the raise of Christianity, during Medieval Era, when the only nude figures in art were Adam and Eve.
Analysing, in fact, Egyptian and especially Greek art, historians realized how being naked was part of their ordinary life. All the Greek’s Gods or heroes were, indeed, naked. Also, they used to participate naked to the Olympic Games.
From the 13th Century on, artists begun to rediscover classical antiquity and the nude started to appear again in art history. Artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo and later on Titian were seriously interested in anatomy and drawing from life become part of workshop practice. But, the scenes depicted were only exclusively mythological or religious and the nudes were idealised. In the 17th Century, artists such as Caravaggio and later on Rubens used the nude in a more naturalistic way, though they were still used primarily in history or religious paintings.

During the 18th century, Academies started to arise in England, following the model of the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. The most important was the Royal Academy, founded in 1768. While in France the nude was accepted and considered a natural form of beauty, in England it was a source of embarrassment due to the puritanical Evangelical religion that enforced strict rules of social behaviour.

Nevertheless, the competition with French painter was tough, because drawing nude figures in the life class was the core of their curriculum. So, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert became supporter of national’s painting and patrons of a collection that included nude subjects. However, the artists should avoid sensual and erotic desire in their nudes and they should use well known historical or mythological content. So, artists justified their nude placing it within the framework of the respected classical tradition.
The use of life classes raised controversies because female models were, usually, considered as prostitutes, due to their lower social status and their profession. At the same time, male models were also coming from lower classes but their great physique was appreciated and compared with Greek’s sculpture.

In the 1860’s English...

Find Another Essay On Nudity in Art History

History of Propaganda in Art Essay

957 words - 4 pages Throughout history, the purpose of art is dedicated to anything from decorative embellishments to religious tributes. However, art was also used by rulers and other powerful figures for propagandistic reasons as well. This can be seen through a survey of art pieces ranging from the Hellenistic period to the Ottonian period. At the beginning of the Hellenistic period Alexander the Great had just passed away, leaving his vast empire fragmented

Art History in Tourism and Leisure

2363 words - 9 pages to paint en plein-air and among those they produced great works in art history. Claude Monet did many plein-air paintings during the late nineteenth-century. Most of the outdoor paintings took place around Seine, Argenteuil, Honfleur, Trouville and Normandy coast. Earlier in the century, tourism industry developed well before Monet’s paintings. From the travel books including contexts of favorite sites and views, all of these seem to be

"Women in World History". Website critique 676 words. Art History

721 words - 3 pages Women's role in art history, Europe and Middle East. Personal review of a website including source, look, content, and general opinion as well as a comparison of the women's roles then versus now. website is about women in the year 100 C.E. as written by Lyn Reese. She has a BA in history from Mount Holyoke College and masters in history from Stanford University. She also completed a year of

The Portrayal of the Horse in the History of Art

1573 words - 6 pages most beauty."The starting point on our journey through the depiction of the horse in art's history begins with Franz Marc's The Leaping Horse, a fantastic example of post WWI expressionism. Expressionism was founded on a response to the recent word war in an attempt to deal with the darkness and horror it brought upon the world, and was used to describe any art that raised subjective feelings above objective observations. The aim was to reflect the

Characteristics of Romanticism in the History of Art

1274 words - 5 pages Characteristics of Romanticism in the History of Art. To characterise Romanticism within the fine arts one must consider the historical background from which this movement manifested, as it plays such an influential role in the Romantic artist's development of subject matter and style. The movement itself began around the beginning of the 19th century, and is often dated 1775 – 1830 it is important to note that this was a period of

The Two Camps of Modern Art is about the two main schools of thought in art history from 1945 - current

1993 words - 8 pages new artists are now tackling, in unpredictable ways; Modern Art. There is an analogy to the history of art. Modernism in art marks a point before which painters set about representing the world the way it presented itself, painting people and landscapes and historical events just as they would present themselves to the eye. With modernism, the conditions of representation themselves become central, so that art in a way becomes its own subject

Changes in Art History with Emphasis on the Mid-Twentieth Century

3759 words - 15 pages Changes in Art History with Emphasis on the Mid-Twentieth Century Art during the mid-twentieth century contained some of the most important changes art history. These explosive times were counter-balanced with explosive popular culture. More historical events, abrupt changes, and turbulence occurred from the end of World War II until the height of the Vietnam War than in any time period. Before this time, styles of art had lasted

The History of the Term Academy Explained in “Academies of Art; Past and Present” by Nikolaus

904 words - 4 pages The article “Academies of Art; Past and Present” by Nikolaus (1973) encompasses the history of academies in general. Beginning from the Plato’s time, the term “academy” has changed its connotations. The writing style is eloquent, yet covers the developments on the topic in every era. The writer used the article as a prologue for the reader to understand the term “academy” in order to make sense of the forthcoming chapters of the book. As the

The Olympic Games, its origins, sources and images in the art of ancient Greece This is a wonderful essay on the history of art from the ancient greek olympic times

1645 words - 7 pages The Olympic Games, its origins, sources and images in the art of ancient GreeceThe Olympic Games are a tradition which has been maintained for literally thousands of years. From its origin dating back to prehistoric, Ancient Greece, the Olympic Games have captured the attention and hearts of countless athletes, artists and fans. The importance of the games was originally to avoid military conflict within Greece, but the benefits derived from the

Art history- How humanist study influenced Raphael in his works

791 words - 3 pages In what ways can the effect of humanist study be seen in the work of either Michelangelo or Raphae?The question main points are effect of the humanist, "work", "Raphael". The question is essentially asking for examples of Raphael's work to be analysed and extract the effect of humanist study, humanism on the art work, then give a concluding statement about Raphael is influenced by humanist study.First humanism is the idea that human are able to

Characteristics of Romanticism in the History of Art

1402 words - 6 pages Characteristics of Romanticism in the History of Art.To characterise Romanticism within the fine arts one must consider the historical background from which this movement manifested, as it plays such an influential role in the Romantic artist's development of subject matter and style. The movement itself began around the beginning of the 19th century, and is often dated 1775 - 1830 it is important to note that this was a period of change and

Similar Essays

Nudity In Art Essay

2179 words - 9 pages Democracy." Society 36.6: 16.Bonfante, Larissa. (1990) "The Naked Greek: How Ancient Art and Literature Reflect the Custom of Civic Nudity." Archaeology 43.1: 30-35Chisholm, Dianne. (1997) "Obscene Modernism: Eros Noir and the Profane Illumination of Djuna Barnes." American Literature 69.1: 167-195.Cooga, Michael D., ed. (2001) The New Oxford Annotated Bible: Third Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Macy, Christopher, ed. (1971) The Arts in a Permissive Society. London, England: Pemberton Books.Stokstad, Marilyn. (2000) Art: A Brief History. New York: Prentice Hall.

Nudity In Art: A Personal Opinion

1383 words - 6 pages What’s with Americas’ problem with nudity? In this day and age why do American’s still flip-out over breasts or genitals? America’s fear of nudity is the problem in society today. If people could learn to accept the nude form then people could hopeful start to accept themselves. People fear the unknown. If people get over themselves and move on then maybe people can see that one doesn’t have to be ashamed of what God gave them. Through art

Should Nudity In Art And Iin The Internet Be Allowed?

958 words - 4 pages specific area of the Internet so the choices we make our own free will. I feel that the government is clearly violating our rights. Many skeptics do not agree that nudity in art should have a place in our society. Some say that certain groups of our society, such as children, should not see these types of works. The censorship of art has been practiced on many occasions, in which an institution has banned a certain work of art or sometimes a whole

Dates In Art History Essay

475 words - 2 pages Dates seem a little confusing between the textbook and the Web sites. The book says the National Academy of Design opened in 1826. The Web site says the school opened in 1926, but the academy was 1925. I guess after reading the book, I didn't realize the distinction between the school and the academy. I kind of thought they were the same. I believe you have to seek out all sorts of sources when studying history, because with each source you