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Paintings "Nude"

Nude painting always illustrates undressed, naked humans. The subject of the nude painting is developed from the movement and proportion studies in the academic art training. Up until the late 19th Century nude painting was bound by strict standards in art training. An example of this is the Birth of the Venus by Cabanel or the paintings of Albrecht Dürer or Leonardo da Vinci. Merged into a literary, mythological or religious context, the exposed female bodies corresponded with the decor of the decorous art; in this way they served the voyeuristic, but morally legitimate interest. While Ingres' classic Odalisques under the guise of an imaginary exoticism formed the scene for the ideal female nude still in representative form, nude art experienced a profound change with the introduction of Manets Olympia, in the year 1865. The picture not only shows a nude woman without any mythological or religious reference, but confronts the viewer with a prostitute, who shows herself self-confidently to the viewer. After the invention of photography which permitted nakedness to be fixed in detail, it was now also artists such as Manet, Courbet, Renoir or Degas who fixed the exposed female body on the canvas without consideration of the moral code. Thus the scenes and context of the nude representations became increasingly more varied, opener and more liberating. With Modigliani’s nude series, the subject experienced a change again at the beginning of the 20th Century: Without individual tracts, his naked females are not only a symbol for form-nascent beauty, but also an open to view exhibition of sensuality. In the modern trend the nude painting of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Henri Matisse or Pablo Picasso continued its topicality.