1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    The Subject of Sculptures and Work of Arts

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Cacian, Dec 26, 2011.

    I have been reading about few renaissance work such as the Madonna..and looking inot other work and sculptures representing gods and angels
    or even Adam and Yves and this is what caught my eyes the most

    NUDITY
    Is there a particular reason for these symbolic figures tobe stood before our eyes?



    180px-Madonna-of-humility-_1433_Domenico_di_Bartolo.jpg
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I'm confused...why are you linking to a Byzantine painting but talking about nudity in Renaissance statuary?

    Sculptors in Renaissance Italy preferred the nude portrait statue as they regarded it as the most ideal form of Classical statuary; it was seen, in the context of Neoplatonism, as the perfect form of the representation of the human body. But, if you had looked carefully/studied the works you were looking at, you would realise that generally, nude statues are of Classical and mythological figures, not religious figures. For the most part, artists honoured the modesty of the Virgin and Christ, although towards the end of the 16th century, even religious scenes began to be eroticised and the nude was used in those contexts too.
     
  3. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    The portrait I have just found is of the Madonna and Jesus is portrayed in the nude as you can see.

    378px-Madonna-of-humility-_1433_Domenico_di_Bartolo.jpg


    by The Madonna of humility by Domenico di Bartolo, 1433, is considered one of the most innovative devotional images from the early Renaissance.
    In terms of eroticismhow does that link to this portray?
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I'd just humiliate myself before users that I respect, like arron, if I pretended to have anything more than a passing interest, and knowledge of, painting and sculpture. So, I'll just say this: what is the problem with nudity?

    (I say this as a great lover of antiquity)
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Jesus is depicted nude because the Christ child is always depicted nude, in the manner of a cherub. It's just a convention dictated by the Catholic Church, in the same way that Mary is always wearing red and blue because it is conventional. Clearly this image has nothing to do with the erotic nude.

    And we could get into an argument about why Domenico doesn't represent a good example of Early Renaissance devotional art (the fact that he's of the Sienese school is really the only argument you need anyway), but I feel like that would be a waste of time.
     
  6. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    It is not a problem as such but I could not help but noticing it.
    It became evident to me because it is present on paintings and frescos and statues which thousands of people across the ages would be looking at.
    Nudity is not something we do on a daily basis hence why it stood out.
    The only time there is nudity in our day and age is when it is in a sexual content like porn.
    Nudity is not the norms, something you do to go about your business.
    These works are portraits of symbolic religious characters and yet they are represented in their nudes.
    These characters influenc our thinkings/beliefs. They are characters people look up to and to see them in the nude seems bizarre to me.
    I think of photography and portraits of important people like family and friends and the norm is to have them photographed withtheir clothes on.
    Clothes symbolize wealth and health in a lots of cultures.
    Hence my being puzzled about the lack fo clothing in important paintings.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    To that first line I bolded: don't you shower? I shower, naked, every day. I take all my clothes off, and I shower. I do this every day.

    A lack of clothing symbolises a lack of shame, not to mention that the human body is an extremely beautiful thing to paint. As for pornography, yes it's more common on a day-to-day basis for pornography or sex to be the only mode of nudity available to most people, but in most college art classes, there are people who model nude.

    Nudity is still common, and it's beautiful. In religious figures like Jesus, it's to display the lack of shame, making him transcend humanity, and so on.
     
  8. GemmaB
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    GemmaB New Member

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    I don't know a thing about art history. I do love art and have recently started painting images of the divine feminine, and started with an image of the Black Madonna. It seems odd to me that the Catholic church would have commissioned nude paintings. Even today much of the world is obsessed with the idea of concealing and denying nature. It seems to me that "nakedness" would have been seen by the Church as related to our 'sinful nature' and connected to the more earth based, pagan religions that honored the round, naked, feminine body as a symbol of abundance and fertility. I think many of these works of art survived because of their superior quality and because there was a pagan or two hiding out in the Church keeping valuables tucked away for posterity.

    Speaking of which, has any one read "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks? An incredible read; part forensic science, part historical fiction, part art, uber geekdom.

    It's a great question though Cacian, about nudity and religion. I know my 73 year old Filipina, devout Protestant mother was aghast when she went to Vatican City. When I asked about the art she said, "They had all these statute with their..uh..you know Gemma...their um..little tiny..things...you know hanging out all over." She flew all the way from California to Italy and wouldn't pay the $10 to go in and see the paintings because of their "ummm..little tiny things" . I can't imagine what the common reaction would have been three hundred years ago.
     

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