Have you ever given a thought to a number of ways a woman’s body could be revealed in art? A number of techniques, of vain attempts, of desperate eyes… The significance of nude genre is that its history is not based on evolution. It has always been a painter’s very private affair to find an approach to his ideas and make them real.
Having said that, the inspiration could come from different shapes and lines. One of the early creations, the oldest image of a naked woman ever found, was a statuette named Venus of Willendorf. Nowadays one will hardly consider such a complexion appealing, but if we had pushed back to 30,000 BC, we would have found out that primitives admired corpulent women. An I would be hard pressured to disagree with their opinion as full-bodied women were more likely to give a birth to a healthy child.
The subsequent centuries are concealed with mystery. Some occasional archaeological discoveries corroborate that women statuettes remained a fertile symbols for quite a long time.
Let’s go on to the other page of the history of the mankind, a Golden Age of arts of all kinds – the Ancient Greece. It is impossible not to get swept up in the amazement while wandering around the museum halls and art galleries devoted to masterpieces of that period. And it is beyond my understanding how it is possible to underestimate artworks of Ancient Greece – these incredible sculptures of Aphrodite express enigmatic thoughts from the deepest corners of our spirits.
However, some skeptical people claim that Ancient art is not something that is worth seeing. I wish to illustrate it with a funny example – a lithograph made by Daumier in 1864, depicting annoyed women scuttling away out of the gallery. The name of this unique composition explains everything: ‘This year Venuses again... always Venuses!.. as if there really were women built like that!’ But I personally am convinced that art is for inspiration and amazement, not for envy.
I hope I will be excused if we miss the art of the Middle Ages and reach for the Renaissance as it gave the second birth to all branches of art and revealed naked body one more time. I tend to be fascinated by pictures of Leonardo da Vinci and Titian each time I come across them. 15th Century, in addition to rediscovery of nudity, brought interest to anatomy. It gave possibility to broaden horizons in many aspects of life – and art too.
I suppose Renaissance has also established some traditions of painting. It is, for instance, the worship of tender beauty. Elements of it could still be noticed even in pictures of modern artists – Marina Marina as an example.
The time was going by, priorities were changing. Since that time lots of new movements have appeared. And one of the greatest is impressionism. I am peculiarly interested in artworks of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. His pictures are outstanding although my vision of beauty is a bit different. However, every girl is beautiful, isn’t she?
The critical situation occurred in 1839 when photography was invented. People guessed the popularity of paintings would decrease drastically. But… have I ever mentioned art is a magic? Its power influences our spirits – and that is why it is eternal. Scientific inventions are great – but they can not wake inner feelings.
Nowadays art is not basically a way of getting information about the world. That is why each artist is absolutely free to depict whatever he wants. Each one is always in pursuit of inspiration.
And I am pretty sure nudity in pictures make your spirit open too. Marina Marina’s pictures may confirm this. And I guess every painter within the history of mankind did the same. Art is a self-expression!