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What Happens When Men Get Naked For Art?
FINE ART MALE NUDES BY TROY SCHOONEMAN
At the turn of the last century, one of the few social positions lower than actor was artist's model. They were seen often as dire characters outside the edge of normalcy, and often assumed to be prostitutes as were actors. Yet, they were still sought after as painter's models for the large classically inspired salon paintings of the time. And there seemed to be no shortage of very fit young men perfectly willing to spend hours completely naked while swarthy artists with very cute beards and mustaches closely examined their unclothed bodies in minute detail. It's for the art! The situation was novel enough that there is a fairly large number of existing photos of naked men lounging about dank and dusty ateliers with groups of clothed men crowded about them. This was a special pre-YouTube moment when nudity still meant something outrageous and lofty at the same time.
25 Images of Artists and Naked Men In the Studio
Their different approaches towards the male figure influenced their renderings, ranging from representations of strength, power and virility to those of beauty, vulnerability and sexual intrigue. The first major culture to celebrate the naked male body was that of ancient Greece , where male sexual relationships were common practice. From 7th-century BC kouroi to 5th-century contrapposto , the male nude revered a physical form, symbolizing virility, strength and power.
Buy Issue Tender, amorous and warm, the images show male bodies as soft and vulnerable—quite different to the rigid, muscular Kouros statues, the ubiquitous depictions of exemplary manhood in Ancient Greece. When we think of male nudity, our ideas our still rooted in those ancient sculptures, Roman and Greek godlike figures, whose nudity proudly proclaimed both their imposing intellectual dominance and physical strength.