The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art

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Penguin Books, 1985 - Art, European - 407 pages
4 Reviews
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The author traces the history of the depiction of the human body from the earliest civilized times to the present day. Starting with the Greeks who used the nude to express certain fundamental human needs, such as the need for harmony and order (Apollo), and the need to sublimate desire (Venus), he shows how these types of bodily expression were revived in 15th-century Italy and given new urgency by Michelangelo, whose genius almost exhausted the possibilities of the male nude. The female body, however, through Titian, Rubens, Ingres and Renoir has continued to be a source of pictorial inspiration, and the author examines the uneasy relationship with the nude of such moderns as Matisse and Picasso.

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User Review  - le.vert.galant - LibraryThing

Tremendously rich from beginning to end. Each paragraph contains passages of deep critical observation and unexpected connections. The finest book on art history that I've read. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Marse - LibraryThing

I've wanted to read this book for years and years. It is a lovely, coherent history of the artistic nude. It speaks of the meanings of certain poses, how they were used and transformed through the ... Read full review

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