While there are several reasons why classic nude art is one of the most popular subjects for painting, artists refer to the female body as an aesthetically pleasing subject and an epitome of perfection. And to convey their unique, interesting perception about the female beauty, different artists have depicted the female body in different types of arts. The following are 5 most well-known nude paintings, which were painted by some of the greatest artists of all time:
1. Titan- The Venus of Urbino
Perhaps nobody has painted nude women more gloriously than the Italian painter Titan did! His delightful portrait of ‘The Venus of Urbino’, also known as Reclining Venus, depicts a nude young woman acknowledged with the goddess Venus, who’s seen lounging on a couch in the luxurious surroundings of a Renaissance palace.
The artist started painting this masterpiece in 1532, and was completed two years later in 1534. Today, the Venus’s optical munificence can be witnessed in the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy. The artist paints with his extraordinary skill the plush presence of this nude by domesticating the subject by shifting her to an indoor setting, in addition to engaging her with the viewer, which makes it an exclusively irresistible piece of art.
2. Diego Velázquez – “Rokeby Venus”
The Rokeby Venus, also known as “The Toilet of Venus”, “Venus and Cupid”, or “Venus at her Mirror”, depicts the Goddess Venus in an erotic pose as she reclines on the bed while looking into the mirror held by the her son Cupid.
As you feast your eyes deliberately on the model’s smooth, pink flesh spread out amidst an opulent setting, you’ll realize that she is looking deep into the mirror, seeking pleasure from the extraordinary sight of her own naked self. What’s more; the portrait depicts her blurred and hesitant features reflected in the glass, while her expressions are little too grave.
What is she thinking about, you may wonder? The artist masterfully creates a jittery tension between the viewer’s mind and body, to leave one perplexed between projected flesh and the secret inner soul. And whilst doing so, the nude painting seems only more beautiful and profound.
Did you know? The artist Diego Velázquez was one of the leading artists of the Spanish Golden Age, and he painted this masterpiece during his visit to Italy, between 1647 and 1651.
3. Ingres – “La Grande Odalisque”
One of the most insouciantly erotic nudes of all time, Grande Odalisque or La Grande Odalisque, was painted by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres who offered this artwork most gratuitously to the eye of the viewers.
While the artist’s contemporaries believed that the work signified Ingres’ shift toward exotic Romanticism, the nude painting does utmost justice to his first endeavor of depicting a concubine or an odalisque!
In fact, Ingres paints the subject so brilliantly that its incense of byzantine fantasy casts the viewers as a shrewd devotee of sensual pleasure. What’s more, the artist paints the woman almost dreamlike curvy, unbelievably waxen-skinned, and even more real than an actual photograph. All in all, this ancient artwork is a dissolute image of delight.
4. Sandro Botticelli – “The Birth of Venus”
Mastercrafted in between 1485 and 1487, ‘The Birth of Venus’ was painted by the world-renowned artist, Sandro Botticelli. Depicting the Roman Goddess Venus, also known as Aphrodite, the famous artwork lays testimony to her arrival at the shore after her birth. It is depicted in the art how the Goddess emerged fully-grown from the ‘sea shell’, which was the product of sea foam.
Whilst the newly-born goddess Venus could be seen standing nude in a giant scallop shell, it also witnesses the majestic sight of god Zephyr to her left, who blows the light breeze at her from his mouth. And at the right, one could see the Greek goddess of the seasons, holding out a rich cloak or dress to cover Venus when she reaches the shore.
The painting can now be spectacled in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
5. Paul Cezanne’s “Seven Bathers”
Did you know that Cezanne is most well-known for his spectacular images of the nude bathers, most of whom were unarguably women? “Seven bathers,” on the contrary, paints the picture of nude men, some of whom are quite androgynously rendered. Also known as the Large Bathers or Big Bathers in order to differentiate it from his other smaller works, this painting comes out as one of the finest masterpieces of modern art.
While this beautifully master crafted scene of the male figures, may not be the most sensual of the subject matters, what makes it stand out is the classical, artistic representations of the bodies. Also, the artist has brilliantly established a relationship between the nakedness and the viewer’s gaze to bring out the erotic aesthetic. It is often believed that due to a lack of models available, Cezanne had to paint this from his vivid imagination or memory.
This was our round up of the most jaw-dropping-ly sensual artworks that have continued to impress the viewers over the centuries! And the best part, it is still possible to buy famous nudes in an affordable price through reproductions in the highest possible quality.