Understanding the Nude in Art


To understand the significance of nudity in art, we need to travel back in time when sculptures were the most prominent art form. Sculptures were created to depict various important aspects of social life, especially religion and government. These sculptures formed an integral part of society and adorned temples, court houses, palaces, gardens and other public places of importance. Sculptors therefore needed to have high levels of skill and imagination to make the sculptures seem more life-like. Sculptors experimented with the pose, the symmetry, placement and angle of body parts and various other details to bring out a perfect life statue. This meant the viewer needed to perceive emotions from the sculpture, leading artists to use more than just facial expressions to convey emotions. Sculptors began to use the whole expanse of the body for this purpose, which also meant they could not dress up their subjects, as clothing cannot convey the person’s emotions, but portray them nude.

[From The Nude and Art « Understanding Paintings]

a wonderful article for beginning collectors and enthusiasts wanting to know more about the significance of the nude in art. This is a wonderful introduction to classic nude art.

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