One of the reasons that I was interested in becoming an artist when I was just a teenage schoolboy was that artists had access to, and were able to associate with, nudes. After all, artists are able to look at them closely without guilt or shame. If I am honest, when I started as an art student, it was a rather exciting personal prospect that I would be able to see real nudes in the ‘life drawing’ classes. And it actually became a fact.

My student experience.

For the first year or so as full time students we were scheduled one day a week in the ‘life drawing class’ where we would often have a live, nude, female model to draw. More rarely we would be given a male model, and he would be wearing a small loin-cloth, so not really a nude.

On some other days we drew a clothed model. That was a bit harder because it included folds, texture varieties, and other less exciting features. But we used the occasion to learn about how to draw, and the difference between a good drawing and a bad drawing. We worked at our art. After a while we looked forward to an older body, or a very thin or very fat body, because it made the drawing task, and experience, more interesting and better.

Why are there so many nudes in art history?