Shock of the Nude
We wipe our internet browsing histories to spare our blushes, yet admire a nude in an art gallery without the blink of an eye. But, asks classicist Mary Beard, is it really the ennobling effects of great art that sees us queuing up for famous nudes from Aphrodite to Michelangelo’s David? Gleefully, Beard strips away our lofty claims to reveal the truth behind our obsession with the body in art.
- S1 E1 - Episode 1What’s the difference between a male sexual fantasy and Titan’s Venus of Orbino? Not much, quips classicist Mary Beard. With more than a hint of mischief, Beard exposes the naked truth of our obsession with the nude in art from the Renaissance through to the present day where she meets the modern artists who are confronting us with challenging representations of bodies and how we see them.
- S1 E2 - Episode 2When Marc Quinn’s figure of disabled artist Alison Lapper appeared in Trafalgar Square, it caused a sensation – challenging public expectations of what a nude sculpture in a classical style should be. But, as celebrated classicist Mary Beard reveals in this at – times unsettling, always fascinating – study, the artistic nude hasn’t always been a slavish celebration of the body beautiful.