the same way that the
female nude has been used. In
Sexual Vision in Women’s Artwork
, Joan Semmel and April Kingsley
describe female artists focus to the member as
a means to encourage girls to “demystify the male
anatomy” and support the re
alities of sexual encounters.
The artist Eunice Golden explains
that the work was meant to celeb
Speed sexuality, and that the imag
es of naked men shouldn’t be
confused with pornography. Golden believes that se
xual artwork is political art, as it “challenges
widely-held, age old, often distorted
perceptions and processes about psycho sexual
problems, sociological approaches, and economic
precepts based on beliefs of propriety and
In other words, when analyzing feminist
Vision of the male nude, we must comprehend
the comprehensive consequences. A male
nude painted by a woman artist cr
eates an entirely distinct
dialogue from a naked (male or
female) by a male artist.
During the 1970s, Sylvia Sleigh (1916-2010)
Investigated the aforementioned job reversal by
painting portraits of naked males. Semmel and
Kingsley compose that, “Sleigh’s attention to
detail in her male portraits is like that of a
Girl stroking her lover’s body.”
Imperial Nude: Paul Rosano,
the model
poses in the classic fashion of the reclining
female nude. In contrast to most of the male
nudes I have analyzed, I find
Paul Rosano
to be refreshingly hairy. Sleigh hasn’t
attempted to idealize her theme, and instead
Values every asp
ect of his body, from
his curly mop of hair, to his under eye circles,
to his unintimidating member. The model appears
willing, and yet like so many reclining female
nudes, will not return the observer’s (male or
female) gaze.
In Conclusion
This newspaper in no way attempts to give a comple
te history of the post-Renaissance man naked, but
instead plans to analyze some of artists
and their depictions of nude men over several
centuries. The male nude in art can help give vi
sual language to our perceptions of masculinity
and femininity (both constructed ) throughout time. Even only by
Recognizing the language, “naked man” vs. “male nude” we can gain insight into our
Sylvia Sleigh,
Imperial Nude: Paul Rosano,
1977. Oil
on canvas, 106.68 x 152.4 cm, Tate Modern.
relationship to this imagery. “Male nude” seems
subdued and connected with high art, while
“naked guy” sounds practically vu
lgar. I purposely sca
ttered both terms throughout
this paper, in
order to help the reader (and my
self) get over the anxiety
of the nude guy. Important art historian
Kenneth Clark describes this divergence by expl
aining that the English
language distinguishes
the term naked as “deprived of
our clothing, and the world im
plies some of the embarrassment
most people feel in that condition. The word nude
, on the other hand, carried, in educated usage,
no uncomfortable overtones.”
My foray into the vision of post-Renaissance
male nudes has verified
my suspicion that our
relationship to the male nude is entirely diffe
Lease from our relationship to the female nude,
but still sophisticated. The naked guy in western ar
t signifies the ever
-evolving ideal of manhood,
Together with the actuality of ex-husband
isting as a man. Artists can use
the male nude as a vessel to
showcase their authentic selves, without actually
Acknowledging anything. Or, artists can create an
idealized, if unrealistic version of manhood.
The most satisfactory and widespread vision of
the male naked happens in academic settings
because studies of the body are regarded as essential practice for the artist’s
Schooling. During the Neoclassical
Span, as the popularity of the ma
le nude began to decline in
favor of female nude vision, a feminized man
emerged, in response to the first crisis in
masculinity. Then, the torment and mystery of
life was recognized with the romanticized,
emotional guy in the sculptures of Rodin. Duri
ng the twentieth century, Egon Schiele responded
to a second, or perhaps continuing catastrophe in masc
ulinity by analyzing his emotional self as a
grotesque bare body. Subsequently, during the 1960s, Willia
m Theo Brown attempted to impute a visual
language to his sexual preference and desire. Fina
lly in the 1970s, femini
st artists adopted the
subject of the male nude as a manner to que
stion artwork and society’s gender politics.
In the long run, it turns out there are many excep
tional examples of the male nude in post-
Renaissance western art. So, why is this male
nude so underrepresented in, say, art history
survey courses? I believe that
T here ‘s a cycle in position. When
imagery of nude men began to
decline, and females became the preferred
nude, society got used
to nude women, and
unaccustomed to nude men. Consequently, the male body is cryptic and confusing to our
culture. I want to s