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Art: Fresco shows first European depiction of Native people

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | World
More on: vatican
     


Detail of fresco at the Vatican.

Jonathan Jones on a fresco in the Vatican that appears to be the first European depiction of Native people in art:
The discovery of what seems to be the first European depiction of Native Americans in a fresco in the Vatican is not just a chapter in the history of two continents. It is a revelation about the origins of the nude in art.

In Europe 500 years ago, statues were throwing off their clothes. The naked human body was honoured in a revolutionary way. After more than a millennium of Christian veiling, the flesh was suddenly shown off. Michelangelo carved his statue of David, putting a colossal male nude at the public heart of the Florentine republic. Giorgione emulated him by putting nude paintings of women outdoors in Venice. In Orvieto, the wiry nudes of Luca Signorelli gathered for the Last Judgment.

Get the Story:
Jonathan Jones on Art Blog: Native American encounters took art into pastures nude (The Guardian 5/6)


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