Thursday, April 24, 2008




An exhibition of drawings, prints, painting and sculpture

John Wilson and Roger Cucksey, Guest Curators

Newport Museum and Art Gallery | 2008

THE ART OF THE NUDE frames the artistic genre of the nude and provides a public airing of rarely seen works belonging to the permanent collections of the Newport Museum and Art Gallery.

"Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed" - William Blake

"The body always expresses the spirit whose envelope it is. And for him who can see, the nude offers the richest meaning" - Auguste Rodin

"I was trained as a painter. I'm very familiar with the nude body, masculine and feminine. I do, I suppose have a soapbox position, and I want to be certain that the human body is in the center of the frame." - Peter Greenaway, Film-maker

THE ART OF THE NUDE frames the artistic genre of the nude and provides a fascinating thread through the history of art. The study of the nude formed the basis of the post-Renaissance academic tradition of "Western Art", whilst the departures of modernism and the avant garde likewise saw a peristence of the nude as a vital genre for the artist's exploration. Whither the nude in today's world of CGI and the Internet?

Our selection brings together a diverse body of works with a lively conception of the subject of the nude. The large-scale exhibition of 85 works - 28 drawings, 12 prints, 39 paintings and 6 works of sculpture - includes the following prominent artists: Auguste Rodin, Henry Gaudier-Brzeska, William Blake, Sir Edward J. Poynter, Sir Gerald Kelly, Sir William Russell Flint R.A, Peter Blake, Allen Jones, Sir William Goscombe John R.A. , Ceri Richards, Merlyn Evans, Thomas Rathmell, Harry Holland, Angelica Kauffman R.A, Dame Laura Knight R.A. , Elinor Bellingham-Smith and Gerda Roper.

We may reflect upon:

  • the central place of the nude in the history of art

  • the nude as a highly productive genre for the artist's exploration

  • the sometimes controversial role of the nude as a mediator of aesthetic taste and cultural mores across the generations

THE ART OF THE NUDE is the third project in the Explorations series, which provides a frame to explore the diverse range of artists, genre and art historical periods represented in the Newport Museum and Art Gallery collections.


  • video clip - the exhibition selection process


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