Synopses & Reviews
A richly illustrated and extremely enjoyable reference book on the historical evolution of the nude. From the Paleolithic "great mothers" to the Greek athletes, from the Venus of Urbino by Titian to Leonardos Vitruvian Man, from the Odalisque by Boucher to those by Ingres, to the Amazons of Helmut Newton and the desolate, lifeless bodies of Andres Serrano, the nude is the theme of artistic representation par excellence. The nude body as the incarnation of perfect beauty and the suspicions concerning its sensuality imposed by Christian culture; the renewed triumph of ancient beauty in the Renaissance and the study of anatomy; the visual licentiousness of the eighteenth century and the photographic nude; ideal beauty, eroticism, pornography; the nude also as representation of the ugly and its flaunted truthfulness in the art of the twentieth century; the nude that itself becomes a work of art in the avant-garde of the post-WWII period, with performance, body art and experimental theater. These threads of the narration make for a deeply informative historical exploration of the nude in Western art, all conducted around a rich apparatus of images.
About the Author
Flaminio Gualdoni is professor of the history of ancient art at the Accademia di Brera, Milan. He is the former director of the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, Italy. He is a contributing editor of The Art Newspaper and, in addition to his many books on art history, he is the author of Art: The Twentieth Century (Skira, 2009).