7 famous nude masterpieces
The human body has always been one of the most favorite objects for every painter and sculptor to depict, and architects often include decorative elements of nudity in a design of a building. Artists gain inspiration to create fantastically beautiful nude paintings which have become masterpieces for many centuries and have been admired and considered awesome by many generations of art lovers in all the continents, because these artworks embody the forbidden beauty and desire caused by it. Attraction of viewers to this genre of art is hard to overestimate in all cultures, and in the western cultures, in particular.
Nude paintings draw attention to the aesthetics of a naked body and emphasizes that nudity is not disgusting, abominable or abnormal, but on the contrary, it is part of the nature on the earth and should be perceived as any other natural feature. Nevertheless, nude paintings are the most frequent causes of scandals and disputes among critics and artists and sometimes even lead to public protests and ostracism of their creators.
In the western countries, the nude as a form of art regained popularity and was the center of artists’ attention during the Renaissance after a long period of the Middle Ages when strict rules of lifestyle were imposed by the Roman Church. Paintings and sculptures created at that time still inspire many contemporary artists, among whom the artists from TrendGallery are. In this article, 7 nude works of art are presented which flurry the imagination of all who see them.
Botticelli “Birth of Venus”
The first painting chosen to be presented here is an eternal masterpiece by the great Italian artist of the early Renaissance, Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi widely known as Sandro Botticelli. This is a stunningly gorgeous painting “Birth of Venus”. It was commissioned by Lorenzo Medici and created approximately in 1480. The distinctive feature of this masterpiece is the material and technique used by Botticelli. “Birth of Venus” was painted on canvas – which was extraordinary for that time – in the technique of thin tempera that involves the application of diluted egg yolk in the composition of paint. Thanks to yolk, the painting becomes particularly transparent and looks more like a fresco.
When an idea of creating a nude painting came to the mind of Zorsah, one of the most experienced artists of TrendGallery, after seeing this subtle and at the same time luxurious masterpiece long ago, but it was embodied on canvas only recently. In fact, he produced two unforgettable colorful paintings of his own being encouraged by Venus’s tenderness. The color palette is the same but the hues are much brighter which makes the Twins set look more contemporary while preserving the natural lines of the female body in Botticelli’s work. The left painting in the set is titled “UNDER THE RAIN” and the right one is “LADY RAIN”
TWINS by Zorsah
UNDER THE RAIN by Zorsah
LADY RAIN by Zorsah
Henri Matisse “Blue Nude cut out”
The next artwork in this selection is quite unusual and made in the unique style of cut-out, a new technique of visual art invented by Henri Matisse.
Henri Matisse was a French artist, printmaker and sculptor, a representative of neo-impressionism and fauvism. He entered the world of art rather accidentally, at the age of 20, after his mother purchased him art supplies so that he could enjoy himself when recovering from the appendicitis. He called his first attempt to paint an experience of paradise and remained in it all his life.
At the beginning of the 1950s, Matisse completed his renowned series of blue color artworks, Blue Nudes, using his cut out technique. These are nude female figures portrayed sitting in different poses. Describing them Matisse said that he finally managed to create “an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter.”
Solo L., who is a member of the talented TrendGallery team, too, and works in a very distinctive manner, preferring a contrasting world of black and white paintings, kept the commitment to her style and created her famous NAKED BEAUTY in the form of a black painting showing a female figure in a luring pose. Solo L. says that the Blue Nudes by Henri Matisse filled her with enthusiasm to prove that nudity can be depicted in a very simple form but become unconventionally attractive.
NAKED BEAUTY by Solo L.
Henri Matisse “Nude (Souvenir de Biskra)”
Continuing to talk about the creativity of Henri Matisse and discuss one more famous nude painting by him, it is necessary to remind that he was one of the most prominent fauvists who used unrealistically bright colors to paint everyday objects. One more interesting fact about “Nude (Souvenir de Biskra)” is that Matisse was strongly critisized for creating an image of the naked woman in such colors and hues and with such facial traits that it is impossible to determine which nationality she belongs to.
When TrendGallery artist Kladov read about this episode of Henri Matisse’s biography, he decided to experiment with the colors and shapes in a nude painting, as well. His brown painting shows just a woman’s figure almost without any other elements of the place she is sitting in. The aim was only to prove that the beauty of the nature creatures has no races or nationalities, we all have equal rights to exist and enjoy life.
Jean-Léon Gérôme “Truth is at the Bottom of the Well”
“The nurturer Truth lies in a well, having been killed by liars and actors”
“Truth Coming Out of Her Well”
Jean-Léon Gérôme is one of the most honored artists in the world and worked in the style which is known as academicism. His flawless talent, the sense of colors and the ability to use imagination in producing the realistic paintings showing the scenes of historical events and the images inspired by the philosophical thinking are impossible to be overestimated even more than a century later. His works will remain an integral part of the cultural legacy of the humanity.
Being the greatest representative of the academic period in the art history, he also taught students and the list of his talented disciples is quite long. The government of France, his native country, invited Jean-Léon Gérôme to teach painting at the École des Beaux-Arts where he worked for many years until his death in 1904. The remarkable fact of his biography is his continuous disputes and even conflicts with the artists who rejected the academic way of painting, the Impressionists. The popularity of their artistic style was growing and the number of admirers was increasing, which affected the attitude of art lovers to the academic style and the popularity of works by Jean-Léon Gérôme, in particular.
In this article, we decided to pay attention to the most enigmatic and magnificent works by this artist, the nude paintings depicting the same naked female figure that embodies the philosophical concept of the truth. In fact, there are more than 3 paintings on this theme but we selected the most fascinating and meaningful. They show the episodes of the Truth existence. The nudity of the female figure symbolizing the truth is preconditioned by the commonly known phrase “the naked truth”.
Jean-Léon Gérôme was keen on Greek and oriental arts and philosophy, therefore the creation of the Truth series was inspired by the aphorisms of Greek philosophers, and namely of Democritus who once said that "Of truth we know nothing, for truth is in a well". If to look at the years of the paintings creation, we can see that the last of these three is “Truth Coming Out of Her Well”, which instills optimism and faith that the Truth will win.
Kladov decided to create his painting NAKED SILENCE on the motives of the Truth series of Gérôme. It is made in an abstract manner but the similarity of the human figure to the one in the Truth paintings is evident: a naked figure with pale complexity and contrasting dark brown hair. The difference is that the sex of the figure in Kladov’s gray and beige painting is not clearly determined, as he considers the silence, the same as the truth, in fact, to be neutral universal concepts which are not associated with any gender.
NAKED SILENCE by Kladov
François Auguste René Rodin “The Thinker”
The French sculptor François Auguste René Rodin is the genius in the world of sculpture, which is proven by the fact that his works have been popular and admired for many decades worldwide. He was born to a family that was far from art, his father worked as a clerk in a police department. Rodin’s talent is a gift of nature which he developed and cherished himself, and in his works he paid particular attention to a human’s individuality and physicality.
When Rodin is mentioned, the first artwork we remember is certainly the iconic sculpture of The Thinker completed in 1904. However, this sculpture was meant to be a central part of the colossal sculptural masterpiece The Gates of Hell. The work on this large commission to create a portal for the future Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris started in 1880. Though the museum was never built, Rodin did not quit his work and finally created 186 figures for his awesome masterpiece of sculpture - The Gates of Hell. Rodin was so much impressed by The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri that included the main characters of the poem in his Gates of Hell. Some critics claim that the Thinker is Dante himself at the gates to the hell, sitting and reflecting on his poem and the eternal categories of the Evil and the Good. But others do not support this point of view, emphasizing that Dante did not have such a strong body and always wore clothes according to the plot of The Divine Comedy. There is also an opinion that Rodin’s Thinker is his self-portrait.
Both Kladov and Solo L. found The Thinker to be a masterpiece worth being used as an image for their abstract paintings but they used a different approach to rendering their ideas on canvas. The artists depicted a female figure in a similar pose, but Kladov’s painting shows a more fragile and tender woman concentrated on her thoughts but then distracted by someone or someone and turning her head to the right to see the cause of the distraction. The lines forming the body shape are thin and discreet.
The female figures in the two paintings by Solo L. look even more more abstract but, at the same time, more feminine, and the smooth and soft, though wide, lines of the body shapes make them luring. The pose of the figures also suggests deep thinking about something.
François Auguste René Rodin “The Kiss”
As was mentioned above, Rodin’s Gates to the Hell comprised about 200 human figures, and among them there was supposed to be another widely acknowledged masterpiece honoring the beauty of the human body and the divine nature of love - The Kiss. However, it is known as a separate sculpture since in the final variant of the sculptural complex it was replaced with a different artwork depicting a pair of lovers.
The plot of the sculpure is based on a tragic love story of the Italian noblewoman named Francesca da Rimini who lived in the 13th-century. She fell in love with her husband’s younger brother. Both lovers were killed by Francesca’s jealous husband when they were reading the book “Lancelot and Guinevere”, and as the scuplture shows, their lips never touched, which adds even more tragedy to the fate of these two people.
The moving story of The Kiss found another close interpretation in the figurative paintings by Solo L. She said she was under such an acute impression after reading it that just could not remain indifferent and made up her mind to express her emotions on canvas. The outcomes are stylish and beautiful nude paintings showing two people in love, with their lips about to touch passionately.
LOVE UNITY by Solo L.
LOVERS by Solo L.
Vitaliy Ladovskiiy became strongly inspired by the background of the sculpture creation and by the artwork itself and decided to show what happened the loving couple after their demise: in his interpretation in the form of a gray painting they became angels and finally kissed in Heaven.
GREY ANGEL by Vitaliy Ladovskiiy
François Auguste René Rodin “Iris, Messenger of the Gods”
The last and the most provoking and controversial nude artwork presented in this collection is another bronze sculpture by François Auguste René Rodin created on the basis of the Greek myth about the Goddess Iris. Initially, the sculpture was complete with the head, both arms and wings, but it was changed in 1894 by Rodin's assistant Henri Lebossé, who enlarged it, oriented vertically, and removed the left arm and head. Only a fragment of the torso was left, which makes the sculpture very similar to a damaged antique statue. Due to its excessively frank character, critics say this work looks aggressively sexual.
Solo L admits being attracted by the unique sophisticated shape of this statue, and the dark color encouraged her to create a series of black and white paintings showing a female figure in similar twisted poses but with two legs, arms and a head and beautiful long hair. These images of the black feminine bodies turned out to be so mysterious and that is why incredibly appealing to lots of people worldwide and perfectly match the interior of even a very demanding art lover.
OLYMPIC RUNNERS by Solo L.
GREEK WARRIORS by Solo L.
FALLING THROUGH by Solo L.
ABSTRACT NAKED by Solo L.