This is a richly illustrated and extremely enjoyable reference book on the historical evolution of the nude.
From the Palaeolithic Great Mothers to the Greek athletes, from the Venus of Urbino by Titian to Leonardos Virtuvian Man, from the Odalisque by Boucher to those by Ingres, to the amazons of Helmut Newton and the desolate lifeless bodies of Andres Serrano, the nude is the theme of artistic representation par excellence. The nude body as the incarnation of perfect beauty and the suspicions concerning its sensuality imposed by Christian culture; the renewed triumph of ancient beauty in the Renaissance and the study of anatomy; the visual licentiousness of the 18th century and the photographic nude; ideal beauty, eroticism, pornography; the nude also as representation of the ugly and its flaunted truthfulness in the art of the 20th century; the nude that itself becomes a work of art in the avant-garde of the post-WWII period, with performance, body art and experimental theatre.
These are the threads of the narration all conducted around a rich apparatus of images. After Art of the Twentieth Century, published by Skira in four languages in 2009, Flaminio Gualdoni has now created a richly illustrated new reference book that is also extremely enjoyable to read.