When the Royal Academy of Arts in London revealed its plans for next year's Renaissance nude exhibition earlier this week, it announced there would be gender parity among the paintings, sculptures and drawings. That is to say, equal numbers of naked men and naked women. The exhibition will attempt to "trace the development of the nude through some of the great masters of the Renaissance," the Royal Academy said. The gallery's director Tim Marlow told the Telegraph that including equal numbers of men and women would be a "very interesting exercise" in the "cultural climate" of The MeToo era hasn't been the only catalyst for galleries and museums to rethink representation. Scholars, feminists and activists have long sought more equal opportunity on gallery walls.
Draughtsmen: The Male Nude at the Wallace Collection | Apollo Magazine
Nude for Thought is a London-based group of gay artists and illustrators, challenging people to think about the way that the male nude is consumed in contemporary British culture. If you are passionate about supporting the arts and want to make a difference, please pledge your support for the new Nude for Thought exhibition and workshops. Many of the images presented by Nude for Thought explore and deal with the idealised forms of the male nude. Through our discussions and workshops we are able to challenge audiences to think about the impact idealised nude forms have on men's beliefs about their bodies, self-esteem and the impact this can have on their mental health.
A naked triumph: why the male nude is – thankfully – back in the limelight
Agnolo Bronzino, Saint Sebastian detail , c. Trace the development of the nude through some of the great masters of the Renaissance. The 15th and 16th centuries were a pivotal time for the nude in Western art. A renewed interested in ancient Greek and Roman art brought the human body to the forefront of artistic innovation. Artists on both sides of the Alps — Perugino, Pollaiuolo and Gossaert among others — were copying from classical models, experimenting with naturalistic approaches, as well as exploring new, non-religious subject matter.
While the naked female body or nude is an accepted theme in art, the unclothed male body has appeared over the centuries, ever since classical antiquity, solely through depictions of the hero or martyr. Today however, the naked male body, provocatively revealed in contemporary art, is far from a heroic figure. The exhibition The Naked Man examines the ways in which the appearance of the naked male body has changed and been transformed over the last century. The changes in the male image from the end of the nineteenth century till today are traced through eight thematic areas. For modern artists, the stripped down, naked male body was a bearer of revelation, self-knowledge and renewal.