Rodin’s Thinker. Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Pigalle’s controversial portrayal of the philosopher Voltaire. From its earliest days, art history has been rife with representations of nude men. But while there are many studies of art celebrating the female form, the male nude has suffered from relative neglect. This book seeks to correct that imbalance with a collection of paintings, sculptures, and photographs that challenge conceptions of the body and masculinity, many of which continue to have considerable cultural resonance today.
Nude Men takes readers on a fascinating tour of the male nude in art history, turning the focus on works from the Enlightenment to the present. Beginning with a look at art completed in the life-drawing classes once popular across European academies, the book moves on to representations of masculinity throughout the French Revolution, including works by Johann Heinrich Füssli and Antonio Canova; provocative Sturm und Drang paintings by Edvard Munch and his contemporaries; and late impressionist works. The unsettling self-portraits of Austrian artists Egon Schiele and Richard Gerstl exemplify an extreme candor that characterized the early twentieth century. Other twentieth-century artists whose work is included in this book are Jean Cocteau, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Nan Goldin, and Louise Bourgeois.
With nearly three hundred full-color illustrations, the book also includes insightful essays examining topics like male identity, depictions of desire in modern art, and the use of nude men in advertising.