In the Visual Arts, it is acceptable to be naked.
According to its etymological origin, the term nude is derived from the Latin nudus, which means “naked” or “bare,” as in a state of undress or primeval nakedness. In the West, however, the word in the nude or the nude has evolved to refer to works of art, cultural practices, and socioreligious views expressed in the naked state. This means that nudity is associated with a Western cultural worldview, whereas the concept of the nude refers to the human situation of being without clothing or cover in general. Because sex is a biological phenomenon, artworks depicting sex must be based on the reality of physical traits ranging from wide shoulders to genitalia. While gender has historically been described as a social and cultural classification of masculinity and femininity, artistic portrayals of gender reflect the cultural processes of defining sexual and social identity that has taken place through time. More than an artistic conviction to present an object of art, beauty, or anatomy in the nudist tradition, the decision to portray the nudist and the characteristics of gender is based on a moral issue that can be stated: What is the character and meaning of nudity? This question has been asked throughout the history of Western art.
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE NUDE FORMULA
The first formal critical discussion of the nude as a convention of literary art was written by the British artist Walter Sickert in 1910. In contrast, earlier critics, historians, and cultural commentators discussed the artistic or religious values reflected by works of art, whether literary or visual, in which the figures were described as naked. However, the art historian Kenneth Clark’s (1903–1983)’s delivery of the 1953 Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts established the categories of analysis for both the meaning and theme of the nude in Western art and cultural history, which set the types of research. “A Study in Ideal Form” was the subtitle of both Clark’s lectures and his 1956 book, indicating that this motif was more than just an iconographic or visual theme, but rather an idea that was either supported or negated by specific cultural, philosophical, religious, and societal attitudes toward the human body and sexuality. It was more than a state of undress; it embodied classical Greek philosophical, theological, and social understandings of the human person, human dignity, human person’s anatomy, and creative imagination. Clark defined being naked as “being bereft of one’s garments,” which represented a condition of human finitude and guilt based on what he described in his book as the Christian attitude toward the human person, the human body, and, consequently, sexuality.