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The presence of Nudes in art can be traced to the Greeks in the Bronze Age, Harrappan Civilization in the Indus Valley, to Thebes in 1000 BCE. The Nude also occupied an important cannon in Western art since the Renaissance. The Nude was highly revered as a part of high end culture particularly in the 18th and the 19th century Europe. Period sculptures historical figures and mythological tales have often been subjects of the Nude. So as not to offend nineteenth-century morals, artists tended to depict naked figures within contexts removed from the everyday, such as mythology or the imagined Orient, and yet the careful constraints imposed on the nude somehow heighten its eroticism, as in Alexandre Cabanel'sBirth of Venus.

The voluminous works by Francis Newton Souza and his renditions of the distortion of the nude female body has set a remarkable dialogue with Cubist lines and the notion of body. Works of contemporary artist Abir Karmakar, could also be seen as a remarkable departure of the nude, where he uses nudes in a very a manner of form and projection of homosexual identity and sexual politics.

Further Reading

Nudes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, The Wave, 1896, oil on canvas, 47.6 × 63.2 in