Venus at Her Mirror: Velazquez and the Art of Nude Painting (Art & Design)

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9783791327839: Venus at Her Mirror: Velazquez and the Art of Nude Painting (Art & Design)
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From the sixteenth century onwards, artists increasingly turned their attention to images of Venus. In their treatment of this great mythological subject, they also honed their skills in the portrayal of seductive nudes celebrating the beauty of the female body.
Few such paintings possess the multi-facetted complexity of Velazquez' Venus at Her Mirror (better known as the Rokeby Venus), which has intrigued and challenged scholars ever since. Andreas Prater examines the many aspects and possible interpretations of this famous work, its lasting impact on the art of the nude and the enduring fascination it has exerted on the public. He looks at the painting's interesting history leading up to its being slashed by a suffragette at the National Gallery in London in 1919 and its subsequent, painstaking restoration.
In this publication, the author places the Rokeby Venus in its poltical and art-historical context, comparing and contrasting it with works by Giorgione, Veronese, Titian, Goya and Manet.

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From the Publisher:

Prater begins by offering a fresh and thoroughly detailed examination of Velazquez’s masterpiece. He delves into its numerous levels of meaning as well as its impact on the nude paintings of its day. He also looks at the painting’s fascinating history, including its attempted devastation by a suffragette in 1919. Velazquez’s self-admiring Venus is compared to her depictions in other well-known works by earlier artists, including da Vinci, Giorgione, and Titian, as well as in works by later artists such as Manet and Cabanel, and into the modern world of advertising. These comparisons provoke intriguing perspectives on the evolution of eroticism, feminism, and Christianity in art, and offer a renewed understanding of the influence one artist and one work can have on generations that follow.

About the Author:

Andreas Prater is Professor of Art History at Freiburg University in Germany.

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Prater, Andreas
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