The history of nudity involves social attitudes to nakedness of the human body in different cultures in history. The use of clothing to cover the body is one of the changes that mark the end of the Neolithic, and the beginning of civilizations. Nudity or near-complete nudity has traditionally been the social norm for both men and women in some hunter-gatherer cultures in warm climates and it is still common among many indigenous peoples. The need to cover the body is associated with human migration out of the tropics into climates where clothes were needed as protection from sun, heat, and dust in the Middle East; or from cold and rain in Europe and Asia.
Nude woman (Venus of Willendorf)
Nude woman (Venus of Willendorf) (video) | Khan Academy
Copy of work attributed to Polykleitos. Jean Sorabella Independent Scholar. Figures with no clothes are peculiarly common in the art of the Western world. This situation might seem perfectly natural when one considers how frequent the state of undress is in every human life, from birth to the bath to the boudoir. In art, however, naked figures relate very little to these humble conditions and instead reflect a very complex set of formal ideals, philosophical concerns, and cultural traditions. Though meaningful throughout the sweep of Western art, the nude was a particular focus of artistic innovation in the Renaissance and later academic traditions of the seventeenth century and after.
History of nudity
Greek art represented a valuation of male and female roles that codified a power dynamic and a social order that persists today. There are, of course, nude statues of Greek and Roman women, usually standing in a three point pose — a bent knee, a curved hip, a tilted shoulder to accentuate the form. One has a hand over a breast to communicate modesty; her hoohah is smooth.
A Venus figurine is any Upper Palaeolithic statuette portraying a woman, usually carved in the round. Most date from the Gravettian period 26,—21, years ago. Such figurines were carved from soft stone such as steatite , calcite or limestone , bone or ivory, or formed of clay and fired. The latter are among the oldest ceramics known to historians.