Publication Year

1995

Keywords

Art, gender, female body, nudity, Western art history

Disciplines

Art and Design | Arts and Humanities | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Women's Studies

Abstract

Nudity in art has traditionally been viewed as deviant. Power over the body is not possessed by the object but by the viewer, and the societal effect of the image is controlled not by the artist but by an institution whether it be the church or the Salon. The female nude in western art is a symbol of erotica and powerlessness, and this attitude towards the body and sex can be observed in images of modern culture. In this paper, I shall explore these ideas by contrasting the fourteenth-century image of the Virgin Mary with that of the prostitute in nineteenth-century French painting.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Art

Department 2 Awarding Honors Status

History

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