The nude figure is a tradition in Western art , and has been used to express ideals of male and female beauty and other human qualities. It was a central preoccupation of Ancient Greek art , and after a semi-dormant period in the Middle Ages returned to a central position in Western art with the Renaissance. Athletes, dancers, and warriors are depicted to express human energy and life, and nudes in various poses may express basic or complex emotions such as pathos. Unclothed figures often also play a part in other types of art, such as history painting , including allegorical and religious art , portraiture , or the decorative arts. Nude female figures called Venus figurines are found in the art of the Upper Palaeolithic , and in historical times, similar images represent fertility deities.
Why do Greek statues have such small penises?
Why were ancient Greek statues of men always nude?
Naked ambition: when the Greeks first stripped off
Buy Issue Tender, amorous and warm, the images show male bodies as soft and vulnerable—quite different to the rigid, muscular Kouros statues, the ubiquitous depictions of exemplary manhood in Ancient Greece. When we think of male nudity, our ideas our still rooted in those ancient sculptures, Roman and Greek godlike figures, whose nudity proudly proclaimed both their imposing intellectual dominance and physical strength. Every part of the body was symbolic—a small penis, for example, represented a great mind and capacity for stoicism.