The nude figure is a tradition in Western art , and has been used to express ideals of male and female beauty and other human qualities. It was a central preoccupation of Ancient Greek art , and after a semi-dormant period in the Middle Ages returned to a central position in Western art with the Renaissance. Athletes, dancers, and warriors are depicted to express human energy and life, and nudes in various poses may express basic or complex emotions such as pathos.
Nude Figure – From the Willendorf Venus to Modern Day Depictions
Contemporary Art – New Look on Nude Figure
The nude figure has always been the source of inspiration for the artists over the course of history. There is something mysterious and utterly beautiful in the depiction of a human body, especially a nude figure which has drawn the eye of the viewers and critics to investigate the artworks in depth many a time. The body is flawlessly flawed, and as such represents the true nature of a person immortalized in the painting, sculpture, or a photograph. The mere sight of a nude figure strips pun intended the viewer of inhibitions and makes him or her see past the usual constraints of clothing, revealing the raw, natural, real beauty that shines from the naked human being that vulnerably offers their body to the public eye. Over the span of centuries, the nude human figure has been painted, sculptured, photographed, etched, and illustrated, it shocked the public, it was banned , it was a taboo , it was celebrated, criticized, praised, and exhibited, and it has caused many people to feel a whole range of emotions, from anger, to happiness, from excitement to melancholy. The nude figure in art was, and continues to be, one of the most popular forms of expression, and today, in the world of contemporary art, depictions of naked people are everywhere, blurring the line between what is truly artistically valuable, and what is verging on pornography. The origins of the nude in the art can be traced back to the prehistoric times , namely to the Willendorf Venus , a tiny statuette discovered near Willendorf, Austria, in The small sculpture depicts a rather corpulent nude figure of a woman, and the scientists agree that she must have represented a kind of fertility symbol , or, in modern terms, the ideal of beauty. Fast forward to ancient Greece where we encounter the statues of ideal proportions of a male body, so different from the prehistoric voluptuous female figure.
Looking for design inspiration? Browse our curated collections! Recently Featured in Groups. Johan Swanepoel. Davids Pixels. Kurt Van Wagner. Joe Kozlowski. Thomas Mitchell.
Perhaps the history of the nude in art, which traditionally begins with the heroic male of Greek art of the classical period 6th - 5th century BC , should be pushed back to around , BC. This is the date of the tiny statuette, probably designed to be held in the hand, popularly called the Willendorf Venus and depicting a corpulent female. Like much early art, she was almost certainly a fertility symbol of some kind. Indian temple art, some dating from at least the 1st century BC, often depicts voluptuous female nudes. Again, these erotic figures had a serious religious function, representing various manifestations of fertility deities. With the emergence of the male nude in Greek art, however, we are dealing with a rather different phenomenon, a figure of ideal proportions used both as a way of memorialising real people and as a portrayal of Gods and godlike mythical heroes - the ideal heroic nude. Both male Kouroi and female Korai statues exist in Greece from c. These were funerary or votive statues and the male ones were nude, whereas the female ones, obviously based on male templates, were clothed, clearly not deploying life models in their making.