What is Nudity?

Essay by jcassidyUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2005

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What is nudity? It is the state of wearing no clothing, or sometimes wearing significantly less clothes than what is expected by a certain culture or situation, which may reveal intimate parts. Nudity is now rare in the presence of others, but can be commonly found in media, art or in the privacy of enclosed doors. Nudity can even be hidden during sexual intercourse by a sheet or bedspread. Moreover, " nudity in front of strangers of the same sex is often more acceptable than in front of those of the opposite sex, for example in open showers, common changing rooms, etc"(Wikimedia, 2). Most people view nudity as sinful, except nudist who find it natural in their own skin. Nudity is tolerated to an extent in religious settings. "According to the Book of Genesis of the Bible, the first two humans ever, Adam and Eve, were nude at first, but after a transgression against God's rules( the original sin), no longer felt comfortable like that and made aprons out of fig leaves" (3).

The Roman Catholic Church tried many things to cover up nudity; one example is the fig- leaf campaign. This was constructed to conceal nudity in art work from Renaissance artist like Michelangelo. Naked figures are present throughout many Renaissance pieces. They are depicted by form, chiaroscuro, and emotion. Renaissance artists show humans using their own unique styles or a style from the past roman or gothic time period. In addition, the human nude was also glorified heroically, spiritually, and in accordance to its surroundings. These next paragraphs will give examples and illustrate the importance of nudes in Renaissance art history.

There are numerous art works that incorporate nudity into their themes. An example of this topic is the first heroic nude of Daniel. The figure is constructed...