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‘Nude Woman in a Red Armchair’, Pablo Picasso, | Tate
The nude , as a form of visual art that focuses on the unclothed human figure, is an enduring tradition in Western art. Unclothed figures often also play a part in other types of art, such as history painting , including allegorical and religious art , portraiture , or the decorative arts. From prehistory to the earliest civilizations, nude female figures are generally understood to be symbols of fertility or well-being. Japanese prints are one of the few non-western traditions that can be called nudes, but the activity of communal bathing in Japan is portrayed as just another social activity, without the significance placed upon the lack of clothing that exists in the West. The introductory chapter makes though does not originate the often-quoted distinction between the naked body and the nude. This separation of the artistic form from the social and cultural issues long remained largely unexamined by classical art historians. One of the defining characteristics of the modern era in art was the blurring of the line between the naked and the nude.
Creating nudes and sharing them seems to be part of human nature. A collection of poems, stories and memoir on the subject, it takes a long hard look at the contemporary — and seemingly timeless — habit of sharing images of the naked human form. The idea came to editor Julianne Ingles after a short story entitled Send Nudes was submitted for a previous anthology she was working on. In Bronzino's portrait of the admiral Andrea Doria, his subject chose to be depicted in the mostly-naked, muscular form of the sea god Neptune Credit: Alamy. But since the advent of smartphones, sending nudes has also become normalised incredibly quickly: any woman who's been on a dating app in the last decade will likely have been asked to share nude pictures with eyebrow-lifting speed.