An Art History student analyses nudes
There are millions on the internet, but only some are masterpieces
The nude has traditionally played a large role in Western art, expressing ideas of male and female beauty and other human qualities. The naturalistic portrayal of the naked figure can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks and it has been prevalent in the art world ever since.
Although, with the invention of photography we can now create our own nude masterpieces aimed to arouse the spectator with some vestige of erotic feeling. There are millions of those floating around the internet, some created with much thought and artistic vision, while others are simply direct and to the point.
The girl with the green heart
This photograph shows a young woman covering herself with an emoji and her arms. The green heart symbolises harmony, balance, nurture, spring and renewal, but also the fact that she is technologically savvy. This is echoed by the greenery in the window, which further connotes her fruitfulness. She crops out her face in order to allow the viewer to focus on her proportionate and voluptuous body. The curves of her body are being emphasised by the lines in the wood planked floor.
This composition works well because it conceals as much as it reveals, leaving a lot to the viewer’s imagination. The placement of the hand on the chin suggests that the woman is in contemplation, while the addition of the slightly parted lips hint at eroticism.
The stern gaze
The masculinity and strength of the subject is being highlighted through his physique and especially the intense gaze at the viewer. Furthermore, the contour of the bulging muscles and veins demonstrates fortitude. The direct eye contact connotes courage, confidence and valour, yet at the same time the expression of the eyebrows suggests a mysterious character, with layers of personality. The position of the signet ring is linear to the face, implying its importance to the figure. Signet rings historically have been worn by the armigerous aka arm-bearers, thus further underlining his heroism.
An alternative angle
This photograph has been taken from a different angle, emphasising the full form of the buttocks. The grey and black floral pattern and the black flowers that can be found on the lace of her underwear denote a floral theme. This symbolises fertility, femininity and vitality. The black lace further implies sensuality and lust.
This black and white photograph outlines the gentle yet strong form of the female nude. The high contrast further emphasises the highlights and shadows of the body and the inclusion of the spine gives a quite delicate image. The position of the body could be interpreted as submissive because the woman turns her face away from the camera. Yet at the same time she has control by allowing the viewer to only see what she wishes to show. The metal bars on the bed frame juxtapose the softness and tenderness of her skin.
This particular artwork depicts a young woman covering her bare breasts with her long, blonde hair. Her flushed cheeks imply her youthfulness, fertility and arousal, while her puckered and slightly parted rosy lips tempt the viewer by emphasising the erogenous zone. The long hair conveys an image of nature and the woman in her organic form. The smooth and naturally highlighted hair represents good health and liveliness.
These images have been provided to The Tab with consent.
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