Does the female nude exploit women for male gratification? Or does it depend on the context?
I think it does largely depend on the context in which it is used – if it used to convey a narrative in a painting it is ok but when it is just used gratuitously it isn’t. Nowadays we see the female dressed in very little in adverts on tv or in magazines trying to sell anything from perfume to cars.
Why paint the nude?
It’s an essential part of learning anatomy (for artistic purposes, not medical.) If an artist is going to paint a human realistically, then they have to understand all of the shapes that make up a body.
I found this on Ebay
UPDATE 29th September This artist has withdrawn her paintings of nudes after they where censored by Birmingham Botanical Gardens, I don’t blame her for being annoyed I’ve seen worse on TV.
A textile artist whose blog I follow has had the same experience with some of the quilts she has been making in a series as you can read here and here. She was approached by quilting magazines for articles but they wouldn’t include any of her quilts that included nudes in them.
Unfortunately I couldn’t travel to either of the Cast galleries mentioned in the course material but luckily the Walker Art Gallery here in Liverpool has a small collection of plaster casts of the Elgin and Bassae Marbles presented to the Liverpool Royal Institution by George VI and John Foster in 1820/21. They are displayed on a upper wall of the sculpture gallery but I managed to get some reasonable photographs of them.
The casts appear very crisp but as I’ve never seen the originals I can’t compare them. It would be interesting to know how the casts were made so I again looked online and found this brief explanation on the British Museum website.
On the Cambridge University online resource of their cast gallery I noticed they had a cast of a sculpture of Apollo that is in the Louvre which is similar to the Roman copy in World Museum Liverpool that I draw in an earlier exercise.
While looking online I found the website for the Cast gallery of the Ashmolean Oxford and this site for a cast gallery of the University of Missouri in the US.
UPDATE 19th November – just discovered the V & A has a Cast court I can see I am going to have to save up for a week long trip to London.