The Nude: History & Theory
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Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PLAH 2001
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Art History, Theory & Criticism
- Visual Culture
- Cultural Studies
Few images are as powerful as the nude. The unclothed figure, whether male or female, can embody everything from beauty and strength to suffering and ecstasy. It can arouse the strongest desire or provoke the most violent outrage. This course will use traditional art historical approaches as well as newer methodologies such as psychoanalysis and feminism to gain a critical understanding of the nude. Although the course will closely examine paintings and sculpture by Western masters such as Michelangelo, Rubens, and Picasso, it will also explore the immensely varied ways in which different cultures and different historical periods have envisioned such a seemingly timeless and universal subject. This will involve looking at pre-historic art, non-Western works, and attempts by contemporary artists of both genders to reclaim and reinvent this age-old tradition. The course will discuss as well the effect of popular culture on depictions of the nude and, in particular, how costume and fashion both determine and are determined by ideal body types.
Open to: University undergraduate degree students, freshman and sophomores only. Pre-requisites: first-year university writing course and at least one prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture.
Open to Undergraduate students.
Not open to Fifth Year students.
Not open to Senior students.