Representation of the naked and the nude
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Representation of the naked and the nude

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Tracing the history

Tracing the history

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Representation of the naked and the nude Representation of the naked and the nude Presentation Transcript

  • Representing Women Tradition of the Nude
  • Ways of Seeing by John Berger, 1972Chapter 1- Relationship between words and pictures- How do what we know and what we believe affect the way we see art?- How do our assumptions about art affect the way we see it?- How does art become “mystified”?- Who are the legitimate purveyors of the meaning of art?- How is the value of art determined?- How has reproduction affected the value of art?Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Look at what we consider to be “great works of art”(specifically Renaissance paintings)
  • Ways of Seeing Chapter 3 The Naked and The NudeBased on The Nude by Kenneth Clark
  • Genesis Tradition Read page 47 (Geneisis 3:16) Berger points out that our western traditions of representing the female body unclothed actually comes from the Genesis tradition. But when we are born, we are not naked. We are just born. Natural state + God’s eyes = nakedness ―Naked‖ can only be named in comparison to a clothed state— the culturally constructed state in reaction to cultural ideas about shame and the body. Belief that labor pains (and other female biology such as menstruation) are punishment of women for original sin
  • Genesis 3:16 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. . . . And the Lord God called unto the man and said unto him, ―Where are thou?‖ and he said, ―I heard they voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. . . . Unto the woman God said, ―I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception. In pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee.‖
  • The first European nudepaintings were ofAdam and Eve (p. 48-49), usually in story form.Left: Fall and Expulsion fromParadise by Paul deLimbourg, Early 15th Century
  •  Then, just the moment of shame is shown in relationship to the spectator. The spectator becomes god- like, looking at the pair in judgment.  It is the god-like spectator that causes shame in the western tradition of looking.  Nakedness objectified in representation = nudeAdam and Eve by Mabuse, Early 16th Century (Flemish)
  •  In the western tradition of shamefulness and sin, the nude woman is associated with sexual promiscuity and is an object to be controlled/judged by the god- like spectator Also, through religious culture, the unclothed state becomes tantalizing, automatically sexualized.
  •  Painters begin to depict women alone on display, subservient to the viewer (who is male) as Adam and Eve were subservient to God.  Tradition of mirrors also used to show vanity.  Hypocritical because the woman has been created for the male spectator’s pleasure.Vanity by Memling 1435-1494 Memling Vanity
  • Not all cultures see the body as shameful. Muwaji and daughter Iganani, of the Amazon Suruwaha tribe
  • Suruwaha tribe
  • Nudists: Vacation Photos
  • Body Coverings in societies with belief in body shame.
  • Other societies have traditions of shame andmodesty in relationship to the body as well,and practice clothing/veiling
  • Soon shame becomes a kind of display, and women are depicted looking at viewer,aware that they are being seen. This acknowledgment of shame to the viewer RubensIs as a sign of submission. Above: Nell Gwynne, Mistress of Charles II (1618-1680)
  • Ingres 1780-1867 La Grande Odalisque
  •  Bathsheba Taking a Bath Another subservient woman He shows her in a critical moment Rembrandt 1654
  • Such displays are distinctly western Christian traditions.Other Cultures Have Shown Sex Act Between PeopleRather Than Putting Women on DisplayErotic Sculptures of Nad-Kalse (16th Century Rural India)
  • Kama Sutra - Hindu A culture of categorization
  • Japanese erotic art from the Edo period (1603–1867)
  • Europe: 17th & 18th Centuries The Original Age of Materialism?
  • Panini 1764 Picture Gallery of Cardinal Valenti Gonzaga
  • Gainsborough Mr. And Mrs. Andrews approx.1750
  • Stubbs Lincolnshire Ox 1790
  • Heem Dessert 1640
  • Jan Davidsz de Heem Still Life with Oysters and a Peeled Lemon late 1660s or early 1670’s
  • Holbein The Ambassadors (1533)
  • The tradition of female shame and submission extending from Genesismerges with the tradition of representing ownership in an age of materialism. RubensAbove: Nell Gwynne, Mistress of Charles II (1618-1680)
  • Rubens
  • Tintoretto 1518-1594 Susannah and the Elders
  • Titian Venus with Mirror 1555
  • Rubens Angelica and the Hermit 1630
  • Rembrant 1606-1669 Danae
  • Titian Venus of Urbino 1538
  • Manet Olympia 1863
  • Naked vs. NudeOlympias Boyz, 2001, digital C print, 134 x 168 inches, © Renée Cox,Courtesy of Robert Miller Gallery, New York
  • Guerrilla Girls
  • Brainstorm: Nude  Naked
  • Naked vs. Nude Nude  Naked On display  To be one’s self Awareness of being  To be in a process of viewed as an act of becoming subservience in the  Perhaps only 100 Christian tradition To not be seen as one’s self but as an object Hundreds of thousands
  • Rubens Helene of Fourment
  • ―Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.‖ Read page 46: ―A woman must constantly watch herself. She is She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life.
  • Is it true?  Dressing room example  Do men do this too? Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?  Have you ever seen women who have given up the surveillance on themselves? How do they act?  So, to what extent is ―feminine behavior‖ a performance to fulfill what we believe are the expectations we must meet in order to be perceived as attractive?
  • Berger’s Conclusions What we see and how we see depend on our socialization. What we are socialized to see depends on who is in power. Berger’s Conclusion in Chapter 3 about ―The Male Gaze‖: ―But the essential way of seeing women, the essential use to which their images are put, has not changed. Women are depicted in a quite different way from men—not because the feminine is different from the masculine--because the idea spectator is always assumed to be male. . . .‖ (actually, the specatator is assumed to be white heterosexual male in traditional images of women) But now there are not only theories about this male gaze, but also a female gaze, lesbian gaze, homosexual male gaze, etc., within specific subcultures.