Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Episode 71: The Male Nude

Believe it or not, the female form at first, in the history of figure art, was not the predominant form, but instead it was the male. We are looking at the male form in the Western Hemisphere, particularly starting with the Greeks.

With the Greeks, like the roads for the Romans, it all leads back to Apollo. He is one of the most important gods to these Ancient peoples, and performs as their god of music, rationality, sun, light, and primary male beauty. Let’s take a look at this guy. Be prepared, he starts out a little bit gruesome:

Kouros from Tenea, near Corinth (ca. 575-550)

Apollo, West Pediment Olympia. Munich, copy from original, 460 BC at the Temple of Zeus, Olympia, Greece

This is what we call the HEROIC male nude, or your typical macho male. He is ripping with muscle, and like a good Last Judgement rendition of Christ, isn't taking any of your funny business.

Apollo Citharoedus
This is what we call the Mythological or more effeminate male nude. He expresses the more lyrical and artistic side of the god. As such, he is frequently posed in a passive, calm manner that is exactly opposite to his rather smit-ey counterpart.

These two binaries compose what we consider to be the male nude.

Apollo Belvedere, ca. 120 -140 BC
Laocoon and His Sons, c. 25 BC

Donatello, David, 1430-40
Michelangelo, David, 1501-04
Apollo and Marsyas

Michelangelo's Last Judgement

David, Oath of the Horatii, 1784

Girodet, Sleep of Endymion, 1791

Tune in next week when Julia and Jo will be talking about Impressionism vs. Post-impressionism! If you liked what you heard today please rate and review on iTuneU or leave us a comment!

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have topics in art history you're just itching to hear more about, leave us a comment or email us at: uvu.artsandfacts@gmail.com.