The museum is filled with paintings of nude women. This is a deeply codified practice that has changed over the centuries. Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus inspired many artists; and, through their representations of Venus, artists created patterns. This pattern evolves over time; and a distinct revolution in the depiction of women in art is the result. Venuses became Odalisques and later Olympias. There are many patterns in art history. We can see this using a few different examples. Modern depicts real women with realistic bodies. On the other hand, Antiques depicts an ideal woman with an ideal body. Let us continue to explore the nude code of women in painting.
When a naked woman is a goddess
Venus is the Roman version of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. They both represent love, beauty, desire and fertility. Their cult is often associated with the need to thrive. Painting gods means painting their ideas embody. That is why representations of Venus are often aimed at sparking an erotic response in the viewer’s mind.
The first artistic representations we have of the goddess of Antik are by Antique artists, mostly sculptors. Which, a great example, is Praxiteles’ lovely Aphrodite of Cnidus. The art metoorethics then considered the Antique art to be the incarnation of a beautiful form, perfect proportions, and a materialization of the reasons. That is why it had a great influence in the following centuries, especially the Renaissance. One of the characteristics of the Renaissance is the desire to return to Ancient Times. We could see it very clearly through the art of the time. Mythological subjects and antique body shapes were highly valued by Renaissance artists.
Giorgione, Sleeping Venus, 1508-1510, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany.
Giorgione is very well known among the many artists inspired by Ancient Times. In her time, goddesses were the only female artists who could represent nudity, because they were just fictional women. Goddesses are the pinnacle of beauty, especially Venus and Aphrodite. They embody the ideal female beauty archetype as it reaches a level of perfection. Giorgione stayed in the line of tradition when he painted his Sleeping Venus. The reclining goddess has amazing, flawless skin and gorgeous curves that echo the landscape in the background.
Despite traditionally taking up representations of Venus, Giorgione includes unusual elements in his paintings. Venus’s attitude is very sensual. The position of her left hand can imply she’s masturbating – which wasn’t something to show at the time, especially for divine beings. Giorgione knew the impact of his paintings, which was why Venus was sleeping. By painting it with her eyes closed, she denies the possibility of conscious sensuality.
On the other hand, this painting is a commandment for marriage. It is made to hang over the matrimonial bed. Paintings, especially those of beautiful women or sensual scenes, are believed to influence the fertility of the couple. They can, therefore, be sensual; but the goddess couldn’t be provocative.
Giorgione’s and Titian’s Venuses share many features. The latter used the work of fellow painters as a stepping stone in the evolution of Venus’ representations. Comparing them highlights these features and differences. First of all, the big difference is the arrangement. The walkway depicts his Venus in a palace, while Giorgione is outside. By painting this figure in a closed and closed room, Titian relies on the idea of ??intimacy that is implied from the background. We can add to the big difference here the fact that Titian’s Venus is awake and looking directly at the audience. These two elements are very important because they prove the evolution of the representation of Venus.
This is not Titian’s first nude woman painting; he has a lot of experience in this field. Hence, this painting is ripe, and there is a lot of thought behind it. Then with full awareness that Titian painted an erotic representation of Venus. It is clear that the representation of a naked woman who embodies ideal beauty, lying in bed, is a sensual performance. Another difference between this painting and others like Venus Giorgione is the affirmation of sensuality by Venus herself. Her open eyes are proof of her awareness of her nakedness and sensuality. The position of his hands thus couldn’t be plain.
Titian’s paintings begin to explore the lines between a naked goddess and a naked woman. As the effects of mythology and antiquity have faded, representations of naked women have evolved.