|Venus of Willendorf,|
By contrast, the Romans would seem to be downright prudish. Though the semi-nude figure is often used in religious works, Roman gods and goddesses were seldom completely nude. In private art, however, the nude was much more prevalent with sexual overtones ranging from merely suggestive to total saturation. Then, like a swinging pendulum, the medieval Christian period found nude figures used solely in rare depictions of Adam, Eve, and (more commonly) the Christ-child. After that came the Renaissance, Donatello, and especially Michelangelo, when once more the nude figure was off and running in both religious and secular works, for the most part minus any overtly sexual overtones.
|Olympia, 1863, Edouard Manet|
|Venus of Urbino, 1538, Titian|
|Sleeping Venus, 1510, Giorgione|