Why ancient Greeks in art are always nude





Male nudes are the norm in Greek art, even though historians have stated that ancient Greeks kept their clothes on for the most part. New research suggests that art might have been imitating life more closely than previously thought.

Nudity was a costume used by artists to depict various roles of men, ranging from heroicism and status to defeat.

"In ancient Greek art, there are many different kinds of nudity that can mean many different things," said Jeffrey Hurwit, an historian of ancient art at the University of Oregon. "Sometimes they are contradictory."...

Hurwit's newly published research shows that the Greeks did walk around in the buff in some situations...[His] research, published in the Jan. issue of the American Journal of Archaeology, also found examples of defeated, dying and dead naked men. In these cases, nudity was chosen to represent the subjects' vulnerabilities.


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