Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Nude Model

I was discussing nudity in art the other day. It's surprising how prudish we still are about the human figure. I've known artists whose work is rejected by curators because they think a nude is too risque. And at least two American teachers have got into serious trouble for even suggesting that their pupils attend a life class or peruse a naked statue. So I welcome this enlightened exhibition put on by the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art in the USA. Changing Poses: The Artist’s Model looks at the role of the model in art from the Renaissance to the present day, with over 50 works on display. It continues until 5 June 2011. The example here is Alfred Edward Chalon's The Life Class (1832). Note the hour glass in the foreground: time for the model to have a break and a cup of something steaming to warm her up. Click the title link for a delightful cartoon by Norman Rockwell: I Meet the Body Beautiful (1960).


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