The Female Nude Art, Obscenity and Sexuality
The history of Western art is saturated with images of the female body. Lynda Nead's The Female Nude was the first book to critically examine this phenomenon from a feminist perspective and ask: how and why did the female nude acquire this status?
In a deft and engaging manner, Lynda Nead explores the ways in which acceptable and unacceptable images of the female body are produced, issues which have been reignited by current controversies around the patriarchy, objectification and pornography. Nead brilliantly illustrates the two opposing poles occupied by the female nude in the history of art; at one extreme the visual culmination of enlightenment aesthetics; at the other, spilling over into the degraded and the obscene. What both have in common, however, is the aim of containing the female body.
Drawing on examples of art and artists from the classical period to the 1980s, The Female Nude paints a devastating picture of the depiction of the female body and remains as fresh and invigorating as it was since its first publication.
This Routledge Classics edition includes a new Preface by the author.
Preface to the Routledge Classics Edition
List of Images
Part 1: Theorizing the Female Nude
1. Framing the Female Body
2. A Discourse on the Naked and the Nude
3. A Study of Ideal Art
4. Aesthetics and the Female Nude
5. Obscenity and the Sublime
Part 2: Redrawing the Lines
6. ‘The Damaged Venus’
7. The Framework of Tradition
8. The Lessons of the Life Class
9. Art Criticism and Sexual Metaphor
10. Breaking Open the Boundaries
11. Redrawing the Lines
Part 3: Cultural Distinctions
12. Sacred Frontiers
13. Pure and Motivated Pleasure
14. Policing the Boundaries
15. Displaying the Female Body
16. Erotic Art: A Frame for Desire.
“... this is a book which will be universally welcomed ... clearly written and beautifully paced.” - Marcia Pointon, Times Higher Educational Supplement