The arrival of the Renaissance meant the rebirth of the Classical ideals of antiquity, and central to this renewal was the study of the nude figure. As Renaissance artists studied from and aimed to surpass their ancient rivals, a remarkable moment in the history of the nude emerged. This critical era is captured in “The Renaissance Nude”, a new exhibition on view at the Getty Center from 30 October 2018 to 7 January 2019.

While this marvelous exhibition reveals the mastery of the nude through the lens of some of the greatest masters of the Renaissance tradition, it also illuminates the controversies that these studies of bare bodies presented to those contemporary audiences. Examining the clash between the pressures of piety and the celebration of the nude female form, this showcase reveals just how daring these masters were in their artistic dialogue with antiquity.

Interested in the history of the nude in art, from Renaissance classical studies to Rubens’ robust figures to erotic photography? Take a look at books on the topic in the Musebooks selection here.