Artibus et Historiae no. 59 (XXX)

2009, ISSN 0391-9064

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NATACHA PERNAC - Re-reading Luca Signorelli's Nudes: From the 1870s till Today

That the Nazarene painters have been influenced by the sublimity in Luca Signorelli's frescoes in the San Brizio chapel in Orvieto has already been established. Nevertheless, the significance of Signorelli's Arcadian vision in his disappeared masterpiece, The Court of Pan (formerly in Berlin), which features a coterie of youthful nudes, shepherds, and musicians gathered in a pastoral and nostalgic atmosphere, has been neglected. This study considers the display of The Court of Pan in Berlin and deals with the reception of nudity in Signorelli's works in the German context during the years 1850—1920, both in painting and photography. The overall approach of Signorelli's large artistic and critical audience at the turn of the 20th century reveals a new sexualized interpretation of his work. Understood as an ardent eulogist of beauty of the human body, Signorelli and his work played an important role in the birth of homoerotic and even feminist aesthetics.

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