Dark Ages attitues towards the Nude

Venus Poster

Venus Poster by Lucas Cranach the Elder:

Nude Venus poster banned on Tube:
A 16th Century painting of Venus featuring the Roman goddess of love wearing little but a smile has been deemed too risque for the eyes of London’s Tube travellers.
London Underground bosses have banned a poster of the 1532 work by German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, promoting an upcoming Royal Academy exhibition.
The Academy is outraged.
“We are disappointed and find it quite ridiculous in this day and age,” said Head of Press and Marketing, Jennifer Francis.

This piece was a revolutionary creation in it’s day. Cranach was one of the first of the renaissance european artists to paint such bold nudes and is considered by many to have helped define the genre. It astounds me that a piece that was painted so long ago, and in such a comparatively prudish era, is being reviled now as too explicit. Cranach probably would have been pleased.

we are getting to a stage of prudery now where even the works of the past are enough to make people blush. Art history should apparently be swept under the rug, all nudes, gone. they didn’t happen, they are too much for our delicate sensibilities. heaven forfend we now have to pull every single reference to Botticelli’s venus, or all of the nude sculpture in Europe. David with his puppyish hands and classic pose, let’s forget the artistry, after all there’s a penis on display.

it boggles the mind that despite all appearances we are less enlightened now than in the Renaissance. where we can see nudity everywhere on TV, in magazines and billboards, where nudity seems to be featured purely for nudity’s sake, where people dress in outfits that are more revealing than skin, an artwork by a master from the 16th century is the focus of censorship and derision.