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Mary Beard's Shock of the Nude

Mary Beard's Shock of the Nude

Mary Beard looks at some of the most famous nudes in art, from the Venus de Medici to Michelangelo's David, and argues controversy is nothing new.

Acclaimed historian Mary Beard offers a deeply personal take on how artists have depicted the naked body, from the ancient Greeks to the taboo-busting painters and sculptors of today. Just why are artists so interested in nudity? And what can art reveal about our own attitudes to the body? Art critics over the centuries have often made lofty claims about the nude – playing down or refusing to acknowledge the erotic and even pornographic nature of some of the great works of western art. Mary argues we must not forget the edgy and dangerous nature of the nude – ultimately the reason it remains such a magnetic subject for artists and viewers alike.



TX Date:

February 2020

  • Exec Producer/s: Richard Bradley