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There is a tendency in modern scholarship to interpret naked men, especially when they are warriors, as heroes. In Greek art, these nude figures are assumed to be special in some way. This is because scholars assume that, throughout Greek history, nudity was regarded as something out of the ordinary: regular mortals did not normally appear naked in public aside from the gymnasia or bathslet alone that they would actually fight in the nude.
The development and eventual dominance of Christianity in late antiquity profoundly changed the needs of patrons and the output of artists. Unlike paganism, Christianity required no images of naked divinities, and new attitudes cast doubt and opprobrium on nude athleticspublic bathing, and the very value of the human body. The early Christian emphasis on chastity and celibacy further discounted depictions of nakedness.
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National media reported on these initiatives, the audience came in large numbers, the press reported on their success, and it seemed like queer perspectives made a successful entrance into the Stockholm museum world. Gender studies scholar Vanja Hermele pointed out that through temporary exhibitions and collaborations with feminist and queer artists and curators, Swedish art institutions tend to see themselves as much more radical than they actually are. Subsequently, these issues were taken seriously by state institutions, and the National Exhibition Agency published two reports—one on museums and diversityone on museums and LGBTQ issues
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.
Warning : This post contains nudity and may not be appropriate for work. Phoebe Mills is a young multimedia artist based in Manchester, England. Early on in her artistic career, like many women artists familiar with the vast and storied archives of art history, Mills realized something: There is one traditionally established space for a young woman in the art world, and that space is on the canvas.