By Artspace Editors.
Art made to embody strength, power, and virility, the male nude can also evoke beauty, vulnerability, and sexual intrigue. As we discussed with the photography critic Philip Gefterthese images of the body have the potential to challenge taboos around male eroticism and identitypaving the way for future explorations of what it means to be male.
This list, excerpted from Phaidon 's new book Body of Artincludes examples from monumental 17th century chalk drawings and Enlightenment-era scientific models to contemporary hyperrealistic sculptures—all proudly owning their nakedness.
The kouros "youth"; pl.
The inspiration is Egyptian: Indeed, this early kouros is the only extant example that perfectly matches the Egyptian canon of human proportions as described by the Greek historian Diodoros in the first century BC. The Greek works differ from Egyptian figures, however, in being nude and carved in the round. Moreover, the decorative traditions of the preceding Geometric period 10th—8th centuries BC can be seen in the patterns male to represent the essential elements of jessamyn rose nude human form: Stylization of hair and facial features extends to the fat cheeks, wide eyes, arched eyebrows and spiral ears.
Over the next century sculptors would integrate these patterns into nake more naturalistic whole, resulting in the much more subtle and relaxed form of the last of the kouroi, the Kritos Boy.