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History of the Nude

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The nude human form, both male and female, has been forever inspiring to the artist. Throughout time, the shapes and sizes provide a creative stimulus in case you wish to capture your bodys sensuality and beauty. Even just in cave drawings, a persons form was designed and etched in artistic impressions adding aesthetic features on their creations. Ever since, art with the nude has remained present is art history.


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In Greco-Roman times, Paganism was predominant with Pompeii probably to be the most noted leader to saturate Rome with exquisite nude sculptures and paintings. During this period, mythological gods and goddesses were portrayed with celebrations of human form. Being mythological perfection, their nude images were exquisite. The culture and societal values of Greco-Roman culture viewed the nude as classic and romantic.

With the downfall of Roman rule, Gothic art and architecture superseded now with the nude use a more slender and frail appearance. Since the early Christian church developed using a focus on chastity and celibacy, nudes became uncommon. Few Medieval pieces of nude art surfaced during this time. Giovanni de Paolo's Expulsion from Paradise in the 15th century was one of the few depicting the nude as weak and defenseless tying nude form on the original sin and lose its position.

However, by the mid 15th century, Renaissance artists began to restore the nude to its creative form. Danatello portrayed the 1st statue of David bridging the gap between Christianity and this nude revival by painting a biblical hero in classical nude form. This became followed by other Renaissance artists including Pollaiuolo and Michelangelo. Michelangelo obviously also did their own version of David and painted many male nude forms as part of his works with classic mythological antiquity.

Venetian painters also adopted a return to mythological nude figures centering on the female nude in high of their work. Some examples of this include Titian's Venus and Adones in addition to Lucas Cranachs's Judgment of Paris. A lot of the work of the Renaissance recreated the ancient portrayal of the nude by reestablishing creations of gods and goddesses of Roman and Greek mythology.

In the 17th century, the passion for the nude of antiquity continued, but because the Baroque Art period evolved, allegorical depictions of personified values such as Grace and Truth are created as undressed nude human forms. As Romanticism flourished and Neo-Classical Art replaced the Baroque period, ancient sculpture techniques in the nude continued. However, a freer attitude was developing concerning the human body and painting of live models turned common practices.

Through the late 19th century, the nude had been removed from mythological contexts. As an alternative to mythological creations or settings of fantasy, female nudes were depicted in contemporary situations. Artists for example Edouard Manet were one such artist taking bolder risks and challenging social morals. This extended in the 20th century with artists such as Renoir and Degas. This has continued to evolve with fast changing opinions of the nude noticably in the latter half of the 20th century.

Today, nude art takes us where it's never before with a range of nude genres from contemporary to classical. Its robust increase within current cultural norms can be seen by the number of nude art events flourishing throughout the country. Events such as Nude Nite Orlando, Seattle Erotic and Dirty Detroit are just a few of the more popular art exposes.

Even though the history of the nude has additionally been art inspiring, it also has been the birth child in the social climate and cultures from the times. Religious and political beliefs have molded the presentation of nude art throughout history. Today isn't different. The human body will continue to allow us to express the social climate of the day through wonderful art. The nude in essence captures humanity throughout the ages.