Representing the human body has been one of the major themes throughout art history since prehistoric times. In fact, among the paintings that have marked history, many are nude paintings of bodies, more specifically naked woman. The body is a fantastic source of inspiration for an artist because it is simultaneously the embodiment of beauty, desire, reverie and the forbidden.
15 of the Most Scandalous Women in History
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It's important to pay tribute to the commendable women who've made a difference for the better — but what about the "bad" girls in history, who are notorious for their sexy, shocking, and sinister deeds? Here are scandalous women who have become legendary for everything from stripping to having affairs to naked horseback rides. To be clear, some of this "deviant" behavior was only scandalous for the time. Thankfully, we no longer find things like getting divorced, being bisexual, or embracing sexuality as a woman, full stop, as shocking or wrong in today's culture. But alas, these women were the early ones to break some of these barriers, and more. Get a tawdry history lesson on these controversial female figures now! View On One Page.
The history of nudity involves social attitudes to nakedness of the human body in different cultures in history. The use of clothing to cover the body is one of the changes that mark the end of the Neolithic, and the beginning of civilizations. Nudity or near-complete nudity has traditionally been the social norm for both men and women in some hunter-gatherer cultures in warm climates and it is still common among many indigenous peoples. The need to cover the body is associated with human migration out of the tropics into climates where clothes were needed as protection from sun, heat, and dust in the Middle East; or from cold and rain in Europe and Asia. The first use of animal skins and cloth may have been as adornment, along with body modification, body painting, and jewelry, invented first for other purposes, such as magic, decoration, cult, or prestige. The skills used in their making were later found to be practical as well. In ancient Greece , nudity became associated with the perfection of the gods. In ancient Rome , complete nudity could be a public disgrace, though it could be seen at the public baths or in erotic art. In the Western world, with the spread of Christianity, any positive associations with nudity were replaced with concepts of sin and shame. Although rediscovery of Greek ideals in the Renaissance restored the nude to symbolic meaning in art, by the Victorian era , public nakedness was considered obscene.
Take a look at six important paintings showing female nudity in art and find out more about their hidden symbolic meanings. Nudity and art have been connected since the beginning of humanity. Female nudity in art, divine or mortal, became a fascinating and shocking symbol. For centuries, artists have been accused, absolved, marginalized because of the subjects but at the same time gained admiration, glory, and acceptance. Take a look at these six seminal paintings of female nudes and find out more about why they became so important for the history of art. Until the 19th century, it became a rule that the female nudes in painting should have a prototype. The naked human body provided the key link between a set of ideas, beliefs, and values. The artist could, therefore, use the nude form as a pretext to aspire to feminine beauty or reinforce dominant ideologies of modern society.