The Renaissance Nude

    The Sackler Wing of Galleries. The Royal Academy, London.
    Until 2 June 2019

     

    key 73 Raphael, The Three Graces, © 1517-18. Red chalk on paper, 20.3 x 25.8 cm. Royal Collection Trust Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

    Arranged thematically, The Renaissance Nude exhibition brings together around 90 works in a variety of media and from different regions of Europe, examining the emergence of a dynamic visual tradition that permanently altered the character and values
    of European art.

    Works by artists like Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and my favourite, Andrea Mantegna, can be admired in this show. There are also many stories surrounding this exhibition. The most famous probably is that of Michelangelo’s monumental Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Soon after its completion in 1541, the mural’s vast array of nudes proved to be so controversial that, shortly after the artist’s death in 1564, Pope Pius IV ordered concealing draperies to be painted over some of the figures. Until then, the nude had flourished in Renaissance Europe.

    Key 56 Agnolo Bronzino, Saint Sebastian, © 1533. Oil on panel, 87 x 76.5 cm. Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.

    It appeared in sacred and secular contexts, from small, intimate objects to monumental decorative programmes filling church interiors and stately palaces. The Renaissance Nude considers the developments that elevated the subject to such a pivotal role between 1400 and 1530, exploring the way humanist culture, new artistic attitudes and spiritual beliefs shaped the appearance, meaning and reception of the nude.

     

    Key 134 Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve, 1504. Engraving, 25.1 x 19.4 cm. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

    The exhibition is organised around five main themes:
    The Nude and Christian Art, which focus on episodes from the Old and New Testament that provided artists with the opportunity to depict the nude figure. Humanism and the Expansion of Secular Themes, devoted to mythological stories and the rediscovery of the antique. Artistic Theory and Practice explores life drawing and the study of anatomy and proportion. Beyond the Ideal Nude looks at the vulnerability of the human condition. Finally, Personalising the Nude, highlights the role of Renaissance patrons, focusing on Isabella d’Este, Marchioness of Mantua, one of the few female patrons of the time.

    The show features works in a range of media, including paintings and sculptures as well as drawings, prints and illuminated manuscripts. Highlights include Italian masterpieces such as Titian’s Venus Rising from the Sea (‘Venus Anadyomene’), c. 1520 (National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh) and Agnolo Bronzino’s Saint Sebastian, c. 1533 (Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid), alongside celebrated works from the north of Europe including Albrecht Dürer’s engraving Adam and Eve, 1504 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), and Jan Gossaert’s Hercules and Deianira, 1517 (The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham).

    Key 54 Titian, Venus Rising from the Sea (‘Venus Anadyomene’), ©. 1520. Oil on canvas, 75.8 x 57.6 cm. National Galleries of Scotland.
    Visitors also have the chance to admire drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo
    (Royal Collection Trust).
    www.royalacademy.org.uk

     

    • Show Comments

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    ads

    You May Also Like

    Who doesn’t love Peaky Blinders?

    Having just completed watching Peaky Blinders, I think I understand why the whole country ...

    Treasures in Celluloid by Lavinia Dickson-Robinson

    The BFI was founded in 1933 and the BFI National Archive in 1935. It ...

    Resonance

    With all the makings of a crime mystery, this was easily the horological story ...

    Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy

    Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy is the national commemorative exhibition for the Mayflower 400 anniversary ...

    Lessons From a Small Country

    This book is being published as finally, the world feels ready to come out ...

    Dorothea Tanning

    Tate Modern London. 27th February – 9th June Words: Rebecca Dickson Fairy tale or ...

    Mario Valentino

    A History of Fashion, Design & Art By Ornella Cirillo PhD Pulished by SKIRA, ...

    Caroline de Wolfe

    Caroline de Wolfe is the owner of Felix de Wolfe, the longest established independent ...

    The Great British Landscapes

    An extraordinary O of Britain’s most stunning natural and historic landmarks by artist Francis ...

    This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.