Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 8575
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Emison , Patricia.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: The Word Made Naked in Pollaiuolo's "Battle of the Nudes" [It is unknown whether Antonio Pollaiuolo's late fifteenth century engraving of nude men engaged in battle refers to a text or not. While previous depictions of nude males (such as figures of David) often relied upon an explicit or implicit textual reference and depicted the youthful male as the ideal of masculine beauty, Pollaiulo's engraving does not clearly invoke any text and offers a virile, adult ideal for the male nude. Interpretations of the engraving have varied, as some of the items throughout the image (such as weapons and chains) could have allegorical significance if they are interpreted as iconography. The author suggests that works of art produced during Pollaiuolo's time that feature nudes, which some have tried to interpret as depicting certain classical myths, epics, or moments in history, may communicate as images without reference to any text. Artists may produce works of art for purely formal or aesthetic reasons with no subject or text in mind. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Art History 13, 3 ( 1990): Pages 261 - 275.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Aesthetics Art Historians Art History- General Artists Classical Influences Iconography Images Masculinity in Art Nude in Art Pollaiuolo, Antonio, Artist- Battle of the Nudes Violence in Art Warfare and Warriors, Image of
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 15
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  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations: Five Figures. Figure One Antonio Pollaiuolo, "Battle of the Nudes," late fifteenth century. Engraving depicts nude men engaging in battle with each other, some of them bearing weapons such as swords, axes, and arrows. Figure Two Raphael, "Nude Warriors Fighting for a Standard," pen and brown ink over black chalk, fifteenth century, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Drawing depicts nude men wrestling with each other and struggling for possession of a standard. Figure Three Raphael, "Battle Scene with ~~Prisoners Being Pinioned," pen and brown ink over black chalk, fifteenth century, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Drawing depicts naked men struggling with one another, some of them pinned with their arms behind their backs as they sit at the feet of their captors. Figure Four. After Raphael, "Dramatic Scene with Nudes," engraving, Staatliche Museen, Berlin. ~~Engraving features two nude men pinning another nude man by the arms, while ~~other men watch. Figure Five Marcantonio Raimondi, "Woman Tearing Her Hair," engraving, possibly with etching. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C. Etching depicts an unidentified standing woman dressed in loosely flowing robes, pulling at her hair with both arms.
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  • Abstract:
  • Author's Affiliation: University of New Hampshire
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1990.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 01416790
  • Material/Technique :
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