The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art

The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art

By: Sherry C. M. Lindquist (editor)Hardback

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It is still routinely repeated that representations of the unclothed body in the Middle Ages connoted a site of corruption and sin, in contrast to a new, distinctive, humanistic and even secularizing Renaissance appreciation. But as the contributors to this collection remind us, medieval imagery that incorporated nudity was varied, complex and nuanced. It was a time-honored category of representation that viewers had been accustomed to seeing in the most sacred contexts, but also an opportunity for dissent and transgression, and thus a source of conservative consternation. This volume discloses how nudity in medieval art staged a discourse about sex and gender that informs the iconography of the nude body in Western art up to the present day; in doing so, it offers new insight into the problematic role of the nude in the larger art historical narrative. Addressing a strangely neglected key issue in the history of art, this volume engages the issue of medieval representations of the unclothed human body on theoretical grounds and in a more global way than has been done previously. The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art breaks ground by offering a variety of approaches to explore the meanings of both male and female nudity in European painting, manuscripts and sculpture ranging from the late antique era to the fifteenth century.

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About Author

Sherry Lindquist, PhD, is the author of Agency, Visuality and Society at the Chartreuse de Champmol.


Contents: The meanings of nudity in medieval art: an introduction, Sherry C.M. Lindquist; The survival and reception of the classical nude: Venus in the Middle Ages, Jane C. Long; Male nudes and embodied spirituality in Romanesque sculpture, Kirk Ambrose; The naked jongleur in the margins: manuscript contexts for social meanings, Elizabeth Moore Hunt; A son's gaze on Noah: case or cause of viriliphobia?, Madeleine H. Caviness; Uncovering the meanings of nudity in the Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry, Martha Easton; Pubics and privates: body hair in late medieval art, Penny Howell Jolly; Nudity as natural garment: seeing through Adam and Eve's skin, Linda Seidel; Integritas, proportio and claritas: the body in Tuscan representations of Baptism 1300-1450, Veronique Dalmasso; Christ bared: problems of viewing and powers of exposing, Corine Schleif; Sin or sexual pleasure? A little-known nude bather in a Flemish Book of Hours, Diane Wolfthal; Reconsidering the nude: Northern tradition and Venetian innovation, Paula Nuttall; Epilogue, Madeline H. Caviness; Indexes.

Product Details

  • publication date: 23/03/2012
  • ISBN13: 9781409422846
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 382
  • ID: 9781409422846
  • weight: 1112
  • ISBN10: 1409422844

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