The Body Beautiful

There’s something fascinating about the nude in the visual art world – from the most realistic to the perfection that doesn’t feel like reality at all. From sculpture to prints to paintings to photography – nudes allow the creator to see the world in a different way from our everyday life. Of course, that statement isn’t true if you live in a naturist colony – in which case, you’re probably fascinated by clothing.
Nudes have been with us since the beginning of art – the Greeks and Romans and Egyptians portrayed gods and people in the nude. Rembrant’s lovely portraits of his companion Hendrikje are the epitomy of nudes created with love. Lucian Freud’s incredibly detailed paintings of men and women show us what life is really like, especially for people who are leading complicated lives.
As photography became more popular and much easier (and cheaper!), photographers began photographing nudes – usually in quite contrived postures. But looking back on them, it’s impossible not to see the beauty of the (almost exclusively in the early days) female figure.
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One Response to The Body Beautiful

  1. Jar O' Marbles says:

    I like the simplicity and gracefulness of the nudes from the early paintings. The few times I’ve been lucky enough to photograph a model nude, I’ve tried to remember that sometimes, simplicity is best.

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