The Renaissance Nude, Royal Academy of Arts - ★★★★★ - Until June 2, 2019


For better and, perhaps, for worse, the Renaissance increasingly placed humanity at the centre of our cosmology, and nothing reflects this paradigm shift more clearly than the evolving interest in the human body and its representation. Covering the period from 1400 to 1530 through an amazing and brilliantly selected group of works, this is an exhibition not to be missed. Paintings, illustrations, drawings, and sculptures from a wide variety of collections are brought together in a show that beautifully illustrates how the theme of the nude explores the movement of western values in this period. The subject of the human form is depicted and studied via intriguing works by Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Dürer, Bronzino and Lucas Cranach, the elder among others. This wonderful exhibition shows the nude as represented in contexts from Christian iconography and classical myth to secular and erotic studies. There are so many informative threads to follow in the reading of this exhibition: from public art to the private, ending with the fascinating collection of Isabella d'Este; from the inspiringly martyred to the coyly ambiguous representations of St. Sebastian; or from idealisation of the human figure to its anatomical studies by Da Vinci and movingly realistic portrayal in a sculpture of St. Jerome. Some exhibitions impress by their size, this one impresses by its imagination and design.

Reviewed by J.C.


 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until Jun 2, 2019
Daily: 10 am - 6 pm (last admission: 5:30 pm)
Fri: 10 am - 10 pm (last admission: 9:30 pm)
Royal Academy, The Sackler Wing of Galleries
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/the-renaissance-nude

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