Category Archives: Renaissance nudes

How to see people naked in Renaissance Italy

How to see naked men Seeing naked or near-naked men in the Renaissance does not seem to have been very difficult. I should point out that looking at naked people is not, necessarily, erotic. Indeed, the word for naked, nudo, … Continue reading

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Did renaissance women remove their body hair?

Notoriously, on the wedding night of the celebrated art critic, John Ruskin and Effie Gray in 1848, Ruskin was so repelled by the sight of his bride’s body that he was unable to consummate the marriage. Effie Gray explained in … Continue reading

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“Is she pregnant, or just out of shape?” Misogyny and description in art history

Rosso, female nude

Rosso, Female Nude, Uffizi

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Another priapic Vitruvian man!

This is just a quick addition to my previous post. One response to Cesariano’s man was a 1536 Italian edition of Vitruvius by Giovanni Battista Caporali. As far as I understand it, the passage about human proportion here was based … Continue reading

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Leonardo’s Measure – The Genitals of Vitruvian Men

There seems to have been something of a genital fixation amongst commentators on Vitruvius’  in the 1490s and early 1500s. Vitruvius’ book on architecture was a favourite for many renaissance theorists, and his small passage about human proportion was revisited … Continue reading

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Pollaiuolo’s Battle of Naked Africans?

This week has been concerned a strange, but fun, mixture of finalising our renaissance make up recipes for the Making Up the Renaissance study day (finding red sandalwood, allum and vinegar to make lipstick and blusher, for example), and avid … Continue reading

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Men with Breasts (Or Why are Michelangelo’s Women so Muscular?) Part 1

When I give a talk, or run a class that includes work by Michelangelo, generally at some point someone will suggest that Michelangelo’s female figures look like “men with breasts”. I have to admit, that I sometimes deliberately task students … Continue reading

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African slavery and Italian nudes

I’ve been reading a lot about renaissance ideas about Africa today, last minute additions to a talk I’m giving at Glasgow Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies on Thursday. This is all for the book I’m writing on ideas about … Continue reading

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