218 Module 3 Greek Art Class Discussion The Nude in Greek Art

In this discussion, we will research the development of the nude figure in Greek art. After reading this entire document:

1. Discuss the questions below, and through research try to answer this basic question:

Why was the nude invented as a vehicle of expression?

2. Discuss the development of the nude in Greek art. How did later Greek artists advance the theme of the human form. Compare early Greek statues to later images of the human form.

You can use our text as a primary source.

You are required to reference specific videos, and specific research sites in your discussion.

You are also required to reply to other posts, and do additional research on figures presented in other posts.

If you Google any statement with the word “nude” in it, you need to be careful. You might start in the search website for art research. Then click on the many links to Greek sculpture.


Beginning with prehistoric art and the Venus figurines, a major source of expression has been the Nude figure.

Throughout the history of art, humankind has used the nude as a way of communicating core beliefs about everything from religion, to how humans act, live; and die.

The question I pose here is : Why don’t they have clothes on?

1. Give your own take on the above question. What would you tell your kids?

2. Should children see nude statues of men and women? Will you let your kids look at the pictures in the text?

3. In Europe , there are nude figures in public parks all over any city. How come we don’t have that in the US?

a. If I unveiled a nude in a public park in a small town like Herkimer, what would be the reaction?

4. What is the essential difference between art and pornography? What makes a particular image obscene, and another artistic?

5. Is there a difference between painting/sculpture, and photography? Is one medium liable to be taken as obscene more quickly? Why?

6. Is Michelangelo’s David a hunk? Is there anything erotic about this great work?

The statue of David, by Michelangelo (Galleria dell’Accademia), depicts a huge the sketch of the statue of David that Michelangelo made (left), in which an



Do you think that anyone was offended in 16th century Italy, when the statue was rolled through the streets to it’s final resting spot?

7. Finally, what was the point the Greeks are trying to get across in their many works of the nude figure? What do these figures say to us across the ages?

Choose examples of Greek figure sculpture which you find interesting, passionate, beautiful, etc.

What particular meaning do you find in the work?

Mr. S.


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