Nude and naked

“In the 1950s, art historian Kenneth Clark distinguished between the terms ‘nude’ and ‘naked’. For him, ‘nakedness’ implies discomfort and embarrassment. Nudity meant not ‘a huddled and defenceless body, but … a balanced, prosperous and confident body: the body re-formed’. Twenty years later, another art historian, John Berger, offered a different definition: ‘nakedness’ was honest, whereas ‘nudity’ turned the human being into an object of display. He declared that ‘to be naked is to be oneself…. to be naked is to be without disguise’.”

How do you define the terms ‘nude’ and ‘naked’?

Click image to enlarge. From a visit to the Leeds Art Gallery in September, 2010.

2 thoughts on “Nude and naked

  1. Webmaster said: “The definition of these terms seems rather subjective. Both mean the same thing, but come from different etymological backgrounds: nudity derives from Latin, while naked comes from old German and perhaps that colors the latter as more barbaric in Kenneth Clark’s eyes. This tells more about Clark than about the words he discusses.”

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