Nakedness and Physical Beauty

Woods, Kathryn. 2021. Nakedness and Physical Beauty. In: Karen Harvey, ed. A Cultural History of Beauty: The Enlightenment. London: Bloomsbury Academic. [Book Section] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

Truth, beauty, antiquity, and nature were fascinations of the Enlightenment that created a range of new cultural and intellectual possibilities for the consideration of naked beauty in different contexts and subjects. Contemplation of nakedness also became central to the study of aesthetics, art and medicine during the eighteenth century. Changing ideas about nakedness played an important but often overlooked role in the development of Enlightenment ideas of beauty, ugliness, morality, gender, status, education, nationality, empire, and race. This chapter examines a variety of texts and visual evidence to explore changing Western attitudes towards nakedness and physical beauty across the eighteenth-century.

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Book Section


naked; nude; beauty; truth; enlightenment

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11 November 2021Accepted

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Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2021 13:17

Last Modified:

23 Nov 2021 13:17


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