Tag Archives: nude

The Flemish Primitives: Closer to Van Eyck.

28 Mar
The Ghent Altarpiece, detail of Eve by Jan Van Eyck.

The Ghent Altarpiece, detail of Eve by Jan Van Eyck.

The Flemish Primitives refer to the work of artists active in the Low Countries during the 15th and 16th century Northern Renaissance, especially in the flourishing Burgundian cities of Tournai, Bruges, Ghent and Brussels. Jan van Eyck brings on a revolution in the history of painting between 1420 and 1441. His work makes end to the refined ‘international style’ that dominates the art at the time. His precise observation and naturalistic rendering of reality, his brilliant colouring and the oil technique that he perfectly masters gives him the look of a virtuosity. As a court painter of the Burgundian dukes, he moves within the highest circles. The Ghent Altarpiece, was initiated by his brother. However in 1432, after the death of his brother, Van Eyck finishes the work. The urgent conservation treatment of the Ghent Altarpiece in the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent was finalised in October 2010. It provided a unique opportunity to thoroughly document Van Eyck’s use of materials and his painting technique, and to record the state of conservation. The results are made available to the public through the website ‘Closer to Van Eyck’.

Eve’s Apple.

11 Mar

Romaans sculptuur op kapiteel Eva & Apple

Romanesque Art refers to the art of Europe from 1000 AD onwards. With the fall of the Roman Empire, the tradition of sculpting figures in stone and bronze died out, as it did in the Byzantine world, for religious reasons . The growth of Romanesque art was stimulated intensely by the circulation of pilgrims and by travelling craftsmen and artists, who moved from one construction yard to another to offer their services. Most Romanesque sculptures are pictorial and biblical in subject. A great variety of themes are found on capitals. The ‘Temptation of Eve’ from Gislebertus was created around the 1130s. Eve lays in a sensual pose, keeping her face away from the sin she will commit. She hold the hand with the apple, subject of the Fall, on her back. On the right we notice the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Satan, here symbolized as the snake, only shows his tale as he is leaving quickly after tempting Eve with the forbidden fruit.

Aphrodite, nude for the first time.

26 Feb

Aphrodite Knidos Praxiteles Greece

Aphrodite is a goddess of great meaning in Greek mythology. She is the goddess of love, beauty, sexuality and fertility. Back in 390-330 BC the ‘Aphrodite of Cnidus’ by Praxiteles claims its position in ancient Greek art as the first monumental cult statue of a goddess to be represented completely nude. The popularity was expressed through an endless stream of imitations and replicas. It can be seen as the starting point of a new history in art, as this introduction of the monumental female nude occurred at least three centuries after the introduction of the monumental male nude statue. It is a history that sexually defines the represented woman by her complete nudity and, on that account, keeps her in a perpetual state of vulnerability.

Kouros, symbol of youth.

24 Feb

anavyss

The kouros is one of the earliest freestanding marble statues from around the 7th century BC. It demonstrates the interest that ancient Greeks had in the male form and is a symbol of youth. It would be used as a tomb stone or as a dedication in the sanctuary of a god. The features are very distinctive: the smile, the outspoken musculature, the rigid posture, the hands closed in fists and the left leg slightly standing forward. The kouros served as an inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent, who launched a very masculine fragrance under the name Kouros, in 1981. The advertisements, still now, totally embody the ancient features and represent strong and attractive young men.

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