The Bride Stripped Bare: The Artist and the Female Nude in the Twentieth Century

Janet Hobhouse, Author George Weidenfeld & Nicholson $0 (288p) ISBN 978-1-55584-217-8
Thirteen male artists who have painted or sculpted female nudes are the focus of this brilliant, shrewdly debunking, lushly illustrated study. Hobhouse, biographer of Gertrude Stein ( Everybody Who Was Anybody ) and arts contributor to Newsweek , claims that Picasso's showmanship kept him ``safe and unknowable'' in erotic pictures devoid of intimacy. She has little use for Matisse's ethereal concubines or Maillol's remote icons, and in Jules Pascin's passive young girls she discerns the artist's refusal to engage his emotions. Other painters who used the female nude to explore recurrent themes get higher marks, among them Modigliani, whose models embodied the tension between the abstract and the real, and Schiele, in whose work the contrast between clothing/nakedness symbolizes the theme of emergence or coming into being. Feminist in spirit, Hobhouse's perceptive survey demonstrates that the human body most fully serves art when the artist responds to the whole truth of a person. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-224-02011-4
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