|A Quick Sketch|
I have spent a couple of afternoons trying to find a nude to draw. I first looked at Greek statues and eventually decided that there was no actual nude that was what I was looking for. Then today I tried modern photos in diffetent styles. Again I found nothing that wanted me to draw it, but I was struck by the variety of results of applying imagination to the representation of the human form. Not for the first time, I fell to thinking about it all.
|Flesh in Stone, by the Genius of Bernini|
But sex is not necessarily an important part of this perceived beauty, or even any part of it. I can see beauty in the male as well as the female form. On the other hand, it does appear that the female form is intrinsically more beautiful than the male. Women who appreciate beauty seem to agree with men on this. A beautiful woman is a beautiful thing. A man's beauty cannot so easily be appreciated by other men. Nevertheless, the beauty of the human body is not limited to the female.
|Roman, not Greek, but one of the best|
I remember a story I once heard about Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, in which he cried because he had seen an artist capable of making a chaste Venus. The story was probably apocryphal, carefully crafted to illustrate a point, as so many of the stories he told were, but it means, at the very least, that he thought it could be done, and that it was important.
Looking at pictures of attractive naked women purely- as it were- as beautiful objects, or the subjects of beautiful images, rather than as objects of male enquiry, is very interesting and instructive. The curiosities of anatomy, the signs of life lived and suffered, the differences that exist between what you may think of, at first glance, as similar examples of the Standard Pretty Girl, the ways in which the human body can be twisted, distorted, lit up, perceived, conceived, expressed and impressed. Their is apparently unlimited potential for teh creative mind to find new and beautiful ways to show it to us. I like this fact.
It is possible that that drawing will never be made. These reflections will have to stand in its place.