The Language of the Nude: Four Centuries of Drawing the Human Body

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9780853319887: The Language of the Nude: Four Centuries of Drawing the Human Body

For centuries the nude body was the highest expression of human aspiration. The nude was a vehicle to express many meanings, be they religious, classical, or literary. The language of the Nude acknowledges the weighty significance of the nude in our world and demonstrates how art has responded to its challenges through the ages and throughout Europe.
Divided into four sections, the catalogue examines the major advances in drawing practice: the influence of Michelangelo and Raphael in the Renaissance; the dialogue between northern and southern influence in seventeenth-century Netherlands; the earlier formation and ultimate dominance of the Academie in eighteenth-century France; and the refined academic method applied to native subjects in nineteenth-century Germany. The book includes many important and lesser known works such as Giuseppe Cades's Rinaldo and Armida; Peter Paul Rubens's drawing of a figure after Michelangelo; Boucher's Birth of Venus; and Albrecht Durer's Female Nude with a Staff.
Heroes, gods, goddesses, and other religious figures are made sublime by being depicted in the nude. This Crocker collection does justice to such a noble subject.

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About the Author:

William Breazeale is the Associate Curator at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Susan Anderson is an author and editor who recently completed her PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; Christine Giviskos is Associate Curator at the Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University; Christiane Andersson is the Samuel H. Kress Professor of Art History at Bucknell University.

Review:

'This book is a rarely directed and wholly fascinating introduction to some of the many constituent mysteries of master drawings.' 'Anyone who has ever wondered why and how representations of the human nude became so central to Renaissance and post-Renaissance Western art will derive great pleasure from this catalogue ... Its numerous high-quality reproductions, informative essays, and catalogue entries for each of the drawings exhibited offer the reader comprehensive descriptions of the themes that were significant to artists and their audience during those centuries, and of the training and practices that enabled artists to create images of the human body expressing humanist values.' caa reviews

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