The return of Venus (The naked body, part II)

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Detail of "Venus of Urbino (Titian, 1538)

"... The glory of the brush is model you, dress and dress, undress. To you, Venus, in flower painting. "
Excerpt: At bare Rafael Alberti.

Throughout antiquity, printed and female nudes were routinely printed on the back of the mirrors, or cheap craft were painted with a kind of naive realism bordering on the grotesque and vulgar.

It was not until the sixteenth century when a group of scholars, philosophers and lovers of visual pleasures decided to return to Venus abandoned some of his divine attributes, rescuing it from the disgrace that had plunged Medieval Times.

In this moment of history, the woman was seen as a creature with the body inciting man to sin and logic is that since such a spiritual perspective, the goddess of love had been for millennia immersed in a dream almost eternal.

"Venus of Dresden" (Giorgione, 1510)

Since the Renaissance will open the doors again to the natural body and then the exaltation of female beauty becomes the reason of priority of inspiration for artists.

The Italian painters initially took as a model or Graces The Three Graces (Agay, Thalia and Euphrosyne), these young women from Greek mythology who fairly represented the beauty, charm and joy. The versions are the companions of Aphrodite delicate, entwined their bodies show us (the middle one turns his back, flanked by the other two, who appear sideways or three quarters). Your appearance is funny and smiling as if this representation of the feminine qualities of a desire to reinforce that women should possess.

Venus is said that the High Renaissance was not invented in Venice and Rome but in the classical nude Barbarelli is attributed to Giorgio (Giorgione), Venetian painter suddenly changing the direction of the painting.

Detail (inverted) of the "Venus of Dresden" (Giorgione, 1510)

The artist reflects his early life with Giovanni Bellini, his teacher since he was ten years, and despite his early death, successfully covered the portrait, landscape and other compositions. But beyond these qualities in him an appetite for physical beauty more delicate than any other artist since the fourth century Greece.

The Sleeping Venus, or Venus of Dresden, we show for the first time in the history of painting a nude woman and lying to appear in the foreground of the composition of the picture. Women, despite their apparent innocence, is full of deep lyricism and elegance, while expressing the loneliness reinforced by a landscape bathed in soft light and the other, the serenity resulting from the horizontal lines of the erotic body and rested, making it more disturbing in the eyes of the beholder.

This Venus is no longer a teenager, his forms are alive and wonderful attitude. The line no longer tighten the body as a brace, but he will travel freely and naturally, so that the image of the feminine will then be closer to human life and also more suitable to the ideal of the Renaissance.

The Venus "teacher" will have a numerous offspring over time that will go from the Naked Maja de Goya to Manet's Olympia.

"Venus of Urbino (Titian, 1538)

A separate section will take us to the enjoyment of his "twin" Venus of Urbino Venus puppy or by his contemporary Titian Vecillio, a work that shows the position of the nude almost identical to the sleeping Venus with the difference that your model is in an intimate room and challenges the viewer to look sensual, as opposed to that placid sleep alone.

Titian, Giorgione classmate, was pleased to complete several works of his friend, according to testimony at the time, and is considered the epic poet of sensuality, the absolute master of painting flesh and one of the highest painters of the interpretation of female body. The artist, far from addressing many positions and attitudes in their models, rather the same way by repeated slight variations in body parts. We also note that despite of indulging in the skin smooth and bright, her Venus is not provocative but rather an unconventional in the first period of their production. It was not until 1550, very adult and, when it leaves the front positions and the contours marked in his works, making the body is displayed as never achieved before.

Radical change will appear in such works as Danae, Diana and Callisto, Diana and Actaeon, which boasts of freedom, of expansion, of eroticism and elegance of line.

These works belong to the most seductive nudes in the history of painting and was recognized by Rubens and Watteau, among other painters as great as him.

Detail of "Leda and the Swan" (Correggio, 1531)

Antonio Allegri da Correggio, born near Parma, at the same time, is regarded as another Italian poet of the female nude. In his works, the beauty appear more seductive than his contemporaries, and although it has no lust, vanity adds the look of his female characters, what makes them unique and precursor of baroque art.

The artist traveled to Rome and enriched its artistic expression. He was a painter with great ductility natural lyrical in its outline and delicacy in dealing with their issues. The feeling of tenderness with which he dresses his models, achieved through establishing friendly relations between the lines and shadows, learning Leonardo Da Vinci as well as to penetrate the secrets of the expression, looking at the faces of the women in the mysterious light of dusk.

Correggio conceived a woman with a tangible and human body, stripped of superfluous clothing. His nudes are the opposite to the obscene, but never lose their charm. The artist finally break with the traditional rule or the frame geometry.

"No other painter, as discussed Berenson years later was more imbued with femininity, so that their more warlike saints are tender and most venerable hermits have the funny face of a maiden."

The future of the Arts is usually unpredictable, but the universal constants are repeated over time in the masterpieces of true artists, those who never lose their sense of wonder.



Text: Toni Guerra




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