Art History

A comparison of nude art paintings by different artists in different times.

This paper reviews five different paintings by five different artists over different time periods. It shows how each to some extent is influenced by the one preceding it and creates a controversy that at that time is negative but later becomes an inspiration for others. From Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus and Titan’s “Venus of Urbino” to Goya’s Naked Maja and Manet’s “Olympia” it shows how paintings of nude women who are brazen in their sensuality and whose depiction does not conform to the styles of the time. Each review is illustrated by a picture.
“Painted even before Goya’s nude Maja this is said to be the one of the first nude paintings of Spain and the only remaining nude by Velazquez. (Author not available, 1998) Inspired by Titan’s Venus it again shows a nude woman reclining, yet the difference is the model does not face the viewer. We see only her naked back while her face is shown tantalizingly in the mirror. Accompanying her is the mythological cupid who holds the mirror. Painted against a dark background the nude model is tantalizingly mysterious as the viewer tries to glance at the features reflected in the mirror. The sensual pose is accentuated through the blood red curtain which make the background of the picture and suggests that the woman may be a courtesan like that of Manet’s Olympia. ”