In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff


We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.







Try Advanced Search



  1. Another Technical Note
  2. La Ligne Maginot
  3. Actress Notes
  4. Technical Day
  5. Peripheral Explanation
  6. More Immigration Links
  7. Another Graphic Detournement
  8. Peripheral Artists (5): Mikhail Vrubel
  9. Illegal Update


CultureBlogs
Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
PhilosoBlog
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Gregdotorg
BookSlut
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Cronaca
Plep
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Seablogger
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette


Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Samizdata
Junius
Joanne Jacobs
CalPundit
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Public Interest.co.uk
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
Spleenville
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
CinderellaBloggerfella
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
InstaPundit
MindFloss
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes


Miscellaneous
Redwood Dragon
IMAO
The Invisible Hand
ScrappleFace
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz

Links


Our Last 50 Referrers







« Photography and Painting | Main | Guest Posting -- Yvonne Harrison »

December 15, 2002

Free Reads -- Reclining Nudes

Friedrich --

Are you fascinated by the way art and pornography quarrel, feud, and occasionally make nice? I am, so much so that I sometimes wonder how much of an art fan I'd be if it weren't for the dicey relations between and art and porn. I mean, a still life can be a mighty pretty thing, but even so ...

The Guardian recently ran a crisp and helpful introduction to the history of the reclining-nude genre by Frances Borzello, readable here. Bizarrely, the online version of Borzello's piece is unillustrated. 2Blowhards is more than happy to correct that oversight. (These images are pop-ups, so click on them and treat yourself to bigger versions.)



Giorgione's elegance sets the pattern; Manet and his riot grrrl break the fourth wall


Sample passage:

Its own set of conventions: historically, reclining nudes are presented in the guise of a classical goddess. Its own poses: she tends to lie with her eyes turned from the spectator, or even closed, offering no obstacle to his free-ranging glances over her body. Its own compositional devices: an impish figure may hold aside the drapery to frame the body and create a display for the viewer's delectation. Its own set of similes: she often stretches out in a landscape whose hummocks and valleys metaphorically echo her curves. Photography carried this to extremes in the 20th century by depicting female bodies as smooth-surfaced boulders in a landscape. And its own taboos: pubic hair stays resolutely out of the picture because it signified the woman's own demanding sexuality, which could be felt as threatening.

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at December 15, 2002




Comments

What's interesting is that the Giorgione woman appears to be about 8 head-lengths tall, which either makes her remarkably small-headed or fully 6 feet in height (presumably, a very unusual size for a female model in the 16th century). Whereas the Manet grrrl is around 6 and a half head lengths, which would make her around 5 feet tall. I "believe" the proportions in Manet are closer to reality, but I must say I'm intrigued at the history of Renaissance proportion-modification. All I know is that Michelangelo was heavily into modified proportions and that the Florentine Mannerists followed his example. The whole notion might have derived from International Gothic prototypes or Classical models, I suppose, but I'm just guessing here. Anybody on top of this?

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on December 16, 2002 03:18 PM






Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:



Remember your info?