In very ancient art history and less ancient times, the gods and goddesses were imagined as nude creatures. Later - by now in this very condensed history of art, we have arrived in ancient Greece - the goddesses got dressed, while the gods were represented as strong, muscular male nudes. They were like the athletes who performed naked for an audience of men - the women were not supposed to attend the Olympic and other athletic games. Even at the heyday of Greek sculpture in BC, the goddesses, the amazons, young girls and so on, were all dressed in long robes. A century later however a nude Aphrodite or Venus arrived shyly on the scene.
Young of Newfields. What an absolute privilege it is to be able to publish these magnificent photographs by George Platt Lynes from the Kinsey Institute. Intertwined with this stream of photographs of masculine men are photographs of youthful male bodies ephebes such as appear in the works of Fredrick Holland Day and Baron von Gloeden, later to be followed by the photographs of Horst P. Horst and Herbert List. In these photographs he tried to reveal a transcendence of spirit through an aesthetic vision of androgynous physical perfection.
The beauty of the human body has been celebrated through sculpture, painting and drawing for thousands of years. During the past century, fine art nude photography took over this tradition. Artistic nude photographs can evoke a wide range of moods through lighting, posing and context. However, the choice of the gender has been a huge issue in the world of photography. The vast majority of work featuring the nude focuses on female subjects.