Exposed: The Victorian Nude

Exposed: The Victorian Nude

by Alison Smith
     
 
The exposure of the body through representations of the nude was one of the most controversial issues in Victorian art. In an era that witnessed a broader audience for art and the development of new reproductive technologies, the nude was implicated in a variety of debates concerning public health and morals, which meant it could not be comfortably contained within

Overview

The exposure of the body through representations of the nude was one of the most controversial issues in Victorian art. In an era that witnessed a broader audience for art and the development of new reproductive technologies, the nude was implicated in a variety of debates concerning public health and morals, which meant it could not be comfortably contained within the confines of high culture. This beautifully illustrated publication surveys the full range of Victorian representations of female and male figures. While concentrating on painting, sculpture and drawing, it also explores the depiction of the body in other media, including photography, popular illustration and film, exposing issues of morality, sexuality and desire that remain relevant today. The nude was an important subject for the most famous Victorian artists, including Leighton, Burne-Jones, Millais and Whistler, as well as for pivotal figures in the history of early English Modernism, such as Sickert and Gwen John. Alongside artworks by these acknowledged masters the catalogue also illustrates equally fascinating works by lesser-known artists such as Simeon Solomon, Herbert Draper, Edward Onslow Ford, Annie Swynnerton and Henry Scott Tuke. Cutting across conventional categories of style and period, Exposed offers a fresh and challenging vision of Victorian art and culture.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The art form that caused such a headache among other discomforts for the Victorians is the subject of Exposed: The Victorian Nude, which explores depictions of the body in 19th-century British art. Tate curator Alison Smith (The Victorian Nude: Sexuality, Morality, and Art) looks at the unprecedented proliferation of nudes (previously rare in British art) under Victoria's reign, and at the passionate debates they provoked about decency and art. Though Smith touches on photography and illustration, she focuses mainly on painting, with full-color reproductions of works by Rossetti, Burne-Jones and others. The book accompanies a Tate exhibition that will travel to the U.S. this fall, including a stop at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City, where the new mayor seems less of a cultural watchdog than his predecessor. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Serving as the catalog for the first major exhibition in the Linbury Galleries at the Tate Museum in London, this sumptuous and sensual volume focuses primarily on painting, though it does include drawings, sculpture, and early forms of photography and silent film stills. Smith, whose Victorian Nude: Sexuality, Morality, and Art provided a broad cultural context of the topic, showcases work by John Singer Sargent, Frederic Leighton, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and others. The works are organized into six categories: "The English Nude," "The Classical Nude," "The Private Nude," "The Artist's Studio," "Sensation!: The Nude in High Art," and "The Modern Nude." The unlikely juxtaposition of Victorian mores with nude imagery provides an alternate sensibility to Victorian England, both enlightening the mind and pleasing the eye. Three richly illustrated essays by Smith, Martin Myrone, and Michael Hyatt frame the work. All academic and larger public libraries should own this title. Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, East Tennessee State Univ. Libs., Johnson City Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823016334
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/2002
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 12.06(h) x 1.07(d)

Meet the Author

Alison Smith is a curator at Tate Britain and the author of The Victorian Nude: Sexuality, Morality, and Art. She lives in London, England.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Brooklyn, New York
Date of Birth:
December 12, 1968
Place of Birth:
Rochester, New York
Education:
B.A., Brown University, 1992
Website:
http://www.namealltheanimals.com

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