Vessels - Regulating the Nude

Vessels from All Things Are Always Changing

Women carry around their bodies for a lifetime. In large measure we come to understand ourselves as vessels through which ideas, biology and experience pass and flow.

Representation of the female body through history is problematic because

traditionally the audience was male. The female and her body traditionally came to represent that which is irrational, non-cerebral and in many religions, evoke anti-social or transgressive behavior. Lynda Nead (Theorizing the Female Nude, p. 6) argues "that one of the principal goals of the female nude [in western art history] has been the containment and regulation of the female sexual body." Classical Greek sculpture defined this task.

Kenneth Clark discusses Titian and Corregio as they perform the thorny task of defining the boundaries of sacred and profane ecstacy.

Titian, Rape of Europa, 1559-62

"Titian was an unbridaled sensualist. His Europa has profoundly unclassical ideas (e.g., sexuality) which are raised to respectability by his color sense and imagination."

Correggio, Jupiter and Io, 1530

Correggio on the other hand produces the "delicate tremour of the flesh" in his elegant depiction of the rape of Io by Jupiter. How should we view their success today?

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