The Nude: Problems in Classical Art

The nude as a form of cultural expression is thousands of years old, with one of the earliest known examples dating to approximately 25,000 B.C. This course will trace the history of the nude from prehistoric times through the present, with special emphasis on the significance of the nude figure for early and Classical Greece and its legacy and influence for good or ill through the early Renaissance. The nude as a form of artistic expression underwent a transformation that began with Raphael but was manifested most strongly in the late nineteenth-century. That change continued into the twentieth century, where we will conclude our discussion with the artistic development that Kenneth Clark calls “the nude as an end in itself.”

Class Recordings:

Class 1 - April 12, 2023

Class 2 - April 19, 2023

Class 3 - April 26, 2023

Class 4 - May 3, 2023

Class 5 - May 10, 2023

Venue: online
Meets on: Wednesdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting: 4/5/2023
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 50
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
Weekly Preparation: Optional
Group Leader Biography:

Dr. Ellen Longsworth is Professor Emerita of Art History, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Merrimack College, and former Department Chair. She earned a B.A. in studio art and art history from Mount Holyoke College; a master’s degree in art history from The University of Chicago; and a doctorate in art history from Boston University. Her research interests and publications include 15th-and 16th-century Lombard funerary sculpture and terracotta devotional groups, Michelangelo's early sculptures, and Italian Renaissance painting and sculpture generally.