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"THE BODY BEAUTIFUL: Artists Draw The Nude (1440-1850)"
1999-12-14 until 2000-02-27
J. Paul Getty Center
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

Chronicles the evolution of how European artists represented the human body over the course of 400 years. he exhibition will feature approximately 28 drawings from the Getty Museumís permanent collection. These include works by Rubens, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Blake, Boucher, and Courbet and range from anatomical studies to sensuous drawings of women.

Mastering the depiction of the nude figure has long been a cornerstone of an artistís training. Classical form prevailed through the Renaissance. Male nudes were drawn with finely detailed, strongly defined musculature. High regard for scientific realism was expressed in intricate, analytical drawings. Artists later became fascinated with the bodyís movement. Guercinoís Study of a Seated Young Man (about 1619-20) shows this more naturalistic and expressive depiction of the human form.

In the 17th century, artists drew a softer female figure imbued with the values of love and desire. Rubens helped revolutionize the depiction of the nude and defined a new, more corpulent standard of female beauty. In his Studies of Women (1628), Rubens drew with red chalk to convey the earthy, living aspects of his models.

The female nude became more sensual during the late 18th century. An example is Pierre-Paul Prudíhonís graceful Study of a Female Nude (about 1800), a recent Getty Museum acquisition. Gustave Courbetís powerful and innovative Standing Female Nude (1849) incorporated the 19th-century forces of realism and photography by emphasizing the physicality of his female model.

Other exhibition highlights include Michelangeloís The Holy Family with the Infant St. John the Baptist (about 1530), Hendrick Goltziusí Venus and Mars Surprised by Vulcan (1585), FranÁois Boucherís Venus and Cupid (about 1750), and William Blakeís Satan Exulting over Eve (1795).


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