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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).