Author Topic: Why is public nudity illegal?  (Read 684 times)

Peter S

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2019, 06:46:46 AM »
There’s a story that the British Museum basement has drawers full of marble penises, broken off statues by modest Victorians so stone fig leaves could be cemented in their place. Might just be an urban myth to tickle schoolboy humour, of course, but the statues certainly have a lot of fig leaves.
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BlueTrain

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2019, 01:15:07 PM »
Could be. I have visited the British Museum but I wasn't allowed to look in any drawers. The most impressive thing I remember seeing was the Rosetta Stone. All the same, a surprising amount of nude artwork was still produced in the so-called Victorian era, which technically ended when Victoria died in 1901 and likewise, it really only applies to Great Britain, Ireland, etc. Maybe nude artwork was their form of pinup art. There are some nude statues in Paris in bronze that reflect which parts of the statue that viewers feel compelled to touch by the dark bronze coloring having been rubbed off. I think we're kidding ourselves if we claim that nude art is somehow innocent.

Although the somewhat widespread existence of nude public art (virtually all statuary or relief) is something of a paradox, since public nudity is pretty much forbidden in most places, there is even more that was not intended for public display. That is, they were privately owned and for display in the owner's home. Same for other artwork. As such, there were no limits or conventions as to what might be shown in the art and would probably reflect the interest of the buyer or current fashions in the art world. Some of that has gravitated to museums and galleries. All the same, I'd say the majority of people grow up never seeing such things and had to rely on the National Geographic and Look Magazine, which seems to always had pinups.

John P

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2019, 04:33:53 PM »
A picture I took in Paris a few years ago (the only time I've ever been there). This lady may be a little distorted, but she has all her parts, including a full display of pubic hair:



nuduke

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2019, 10:13:31 PM »


Jbee,
Sword play too? Is there no end to your talents?
You have led a full life indeed!
One day I must piece all this stuff together - you never know there may be a Pulitzer-winning biography to be written :D
John

BlueTrain

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2019, 11:09:05 PM »
Curiously, male nudes from the distant past have nearly always included pubic hair, if the subject were old enough. But female nudes, which were less common, generally did not. Not sure what convention was being followed.

nuduke

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2019, 11:21:33 PM »

It is said that the famous art critic John Ruskin
, was familiar with only the smoothness of classical paintings and statues of the nude with no pubes depicted and therefore was repulsed by the wedding-night revelation that his bride, Effie, had pubic hair.  They were divorced (or separated) on the grounds of non consummation.  Ruskin, it is legended just couldn't take entering the dark jungle of Effie's groin. 

Whether it is true or not is disputed but it makes a good story, that is relevant to this discussion.

John   


HillwalkerDundee

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2019, 01:37:54 PM »
I usually have two thoughts when looking at nude male statues. Why are genitals so small and why are they mainly uncircumcised.

Davie

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2019, 02:27:41 PM »
In the UK they are probably small due to the cold weather and not circumcised as that was not common practice until recently except for various religious groups.

There is a statue between the main University Railway Station and the main outpatients entrance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here in Birmingham. The bronze sculpture, called Compassion, was a familiar sight for generations of patients at Selly Oak Hospital after being installed in 1961. Based on the Good Samaritan
parable, it shows one man helping another. The statue, created by sculptor Uli Nimptsch, has been given a new home alongside a pedestrian walkway between
the city’s new Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University railway station. There're not far from were Spectrum Naturist Swim meets.

Davie  8)

John P

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2019, 08:34:16 PM »
There's a prominient statue in Lyon, France titled "The weight of oneself". It stands on a platform in the river across from the law courts.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29248605@N07/galleries/72157656480947504/

It shows a man holding another man in his arms, as though one had saved the other from drowning. But in fact the two are identical: it's supposed to show that we are simultaneously our own savior, and our own burden. But tell me now, would women ever be depicted this way? It was enough for the plump lady in Paris to just stand on a plinth.

MartinM

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2019, 09:01:17 PM »
I usually have two thoughts when looking at nude male statues. Why are genitals so small and why are they mainly uncircumcised.
The classical style of nude statue was started by the Greeks. My understanding is that they considered a relatively small penis as a sign of male self control, an important characteristic to them. They also did not practice circumcision, nor the Romans or the western Christian churches. This classical style has been influential right through to the present.

Although more popular earlier in the 20th century, circumcision is relatively rare in Europe (more common in US) except among Jewish and Moslem communities, so bound to be less common on statues.
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HillwalkerDundee

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2019, 09:00:51 PM »
Thanks all for the explanations. They make sense.

nuduke

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Re: Why is public nudity illegal?
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2019, 10:01:02 PM »

All those statues have their tackle in reasonable proportion.  Quite a decent sized set on the old guy in the Birmingham sculpture!
Sculptors obviously paid proper attention as students in anatomy and life classes!
:D
John