Author Topic: Nudity and Nakedness  (Read 1812 times)

Offline AveMaria12

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • In hoc signo vinces
  • Religion: Latin-Rite Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2022, 06:09:05 PM »
Troll?

I mean no offense. I just really want to wrestle with the question of modesty and what it requires and entails
Okay, I take it back. It was confusing considering it was your first post. Good question though.

For me an absolute minimum in public is: "And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons."

Fair enough, haha!
 

Offline AveMaria12

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • In hoc signo vinces
  • Religion: Latin-Rite Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2022, 06:27:49 PM »
Could one not argue that furthering the arts is reasonable cause? Also, many traditional cultures accepted public nudity in restricted situations for reasonable cause, such as in the saunas, the Greco-Roman baths, Japanese baths. Nudity is still the norm in many public shower rooms as well.

Furthering the arts is "reasonable cause" only if one's frame of reference is the secular world. In Trad Cath land, arts that do not promote due deference to God, the saints, and the Church are not considered a reasonable cause (the Catholic Memes section of this forum notwithstanding  :) ). For example, one of the points of dispute with the Novus Ordo is the extent of "wreckovations" done to churches worldwide beginning in the mid-1960s. Why was it suddenly necessary to wield sledgehammers -- for real -- at the ageless consensus as to ecclesial beauty?

"Traditional" in Catholicism has a very specific meaning apart from its generic use in worldly terms. There are all sorts of "traditional" practices; one could even claim that the nude Pachamama statue is a "traditional" art form. (If you are not aware of the implications of the Pachamama for a forum such as this one, please do a topic search in the upper right corner of the screen -- it will prove interesting.) One of my favorite books pre-reverting was Junichiro Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows, written in 1930's Japan. I don't recommend it to anyone here unless one were sure to skip the chapter about the aesthetics of a "traditional" Japanese brothel.

The point is just because something is the "norm" in any given historical or cultural context does not give it license in a traditional Catholic context. Important little phrase to note: Error has no rights. Deciding to adhere to this way of life entails distancing oneself from much of the widely-accepted secular way of life, no two ways about it. I'm still on that path, it isn't easy, but it is worth it.

What about religious arts that feature nudes? e.g. The Madonna breastfeeding Our Lord.

I did not intend to compare cultural traditions with Traditional Catholicism. I recognize that there is a difference, and that some cultural traditions, such as Pachammama are outright in opposition to the Faith. But Traditional Catholics must also interact with cultural traditions, some of them including nudity, and hence my questions. e.g. If you were a traditional Catholic living in Finland, would it acceptable to go to a sauna nude (for health and hygiene reasons), as has been done by Catholics for centuries, even millennia, before Vatican II? Or if there were no musea with Greco-Roman art, as in my city, whether nude models are acceptable as a means of furthering art?

By the way, I once read in a moral manual (maybe Slatter?) that nude modelling was okay as a temporary job)

Thanks Instaurare Omnia for your articulation.
 
The following users thanked this post: Elizabeth

Offline Instaurare omnia

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 1154 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2022, 07:46:20 PM »
Certainly, ones intention would play a great deal in the morality of the situations, both on the part of the artist and model, but I don't see how it's intrinsically immoral. There is such a thing as a healthy appreciation for the human form as distinct from lust, and often nudity in art can represent a greater metaphysical point (such as the symbolic and poetic use of nudity and marital themes in the Canticle of Canticles).

Consider this scenario: A trad husband makes an impromptu sketch or watercolor of his happily dozing trad wife. He then presents it to her as a token of his appreciation. Together they earnestly critique composition, line weight, tonality, etc. And then they burn it so that the kids and in-laws will never find it. As an extension of the conjugal act, and absent any objectification or voyeurism, I see nothing immoral there.

In public art, nudity for the sake of communicating corporeality or other religious symbolism, sure, devotional art is full with the naked human form, but posed in a modest manner with reference to a specific event or theological premise. It's when the depiction becomes gratuitous or irreverent that it becomes transgressive. The difference is that secular art isn't mindful of this limit; rather, it often purposefully breaches it.
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).
 
The following users thanked this post: diaduit, Justin Martyr, AveMaria12

Offline AveMaria12

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • In hoc signo vinces
  • Religion: Latin-Rite Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2022, 07:50:04 PM »
Certainly, ones intention would play a great deal in the morality of the situations, both on the part of the artist and model, but I don't see how it's intrinsically immoral. There is such a thing as a healthy appreciation for the human form as distinct from lust, and often nudity in art can represent a greater metaphysical point (such as the symbolic and poetic use of nudity and marital themes in the Canticle of Canticles).

Consider this scenario: A trad husband makes an impromptu sketch or watercolor of his happily dozing trad wife. He then presents it to her as a token of his appreciation. Together they earnestly critique composition, line weight, tonality, etc. And then they burn it so that the kids and in-laws will never find it. As an extension of the conjugal act, and absent any objectification or voyeurism, I see nothing immoral there.

In public art, nudity for the sake of communicating corporeality or other religious symbolism, sure, devotional art is full with the naked human form, but posed in a modest manner with reference to a specific event or theological premise. It's when the depiction becomes gratuitous or irreverent that it becomes transgressive. The difference is that secular art isn't mindful of this limit; rather, it often purposefully breaches it.

To further the discussion, would you say that secular art, informed by the Temperance and the Faith, could have nudes?
 

Offline Instaurare omnia

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 1154 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2022, 08:08:46 PM »
What about religious arts that feature nudes? e.g. The Madonna breastfeeding Our Lord.
[...]
If you were a traditional Catholic living in Finland, would it acceptable to go to a sauna nude (for health and hygiene reasons)
[...]
By the way, I once read in a moral manual (maybe Slatter?) that nude modelling was okay as a temporary job)

Breastfeeding is a natural -- and in some contexts necessary -- maternal activity, and before the modern era, many artists from childhood would have seen breastfeeding often enough within their own family homes. And in the depiction of the Madonna and the Christ child, there's also a reference to the human nature of the incarnate Lord. As for saunas, I guess a single-sex session of adults would be OK if the intent were to promote health. As for Slater, please see what I wrote to Justin Martyr. I don't know whether what I wrote would be consistent with whatever Slater said, but my point remains that it's not about nakedness in itself. Note that Adam and Eve did not even realize that they were naked until after they had sinned.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 10:46:38 AM by Instaurare omnia »
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).
 
The following users thanked this post: diaduit

Offline Instaurare omnia

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 1154 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2022, 08:24:14 PM »
To further the discussion, would you say that secular art, informed by the Temperance and the Faith, could have nudes?

Secular art is secular art. If it's "informed by Temperance and Faith", then is it still secular art? Or is it art produced by a devout Catholic (who would never dream of painting anything like Manet's Olympia, to give a well-known example), and that art simply happens to be available publicly for secular viewers? Say an allegorical painting with mythic references, appearing to be just an aesthetic piece to an atheist or agnostic, but much more evocative of timeless truths to someone with a classics/traditional Catholic arts education? (Come on, SD folks, can anyone think of a work that might fit such a description?)
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).
 

Offline AveMaria12

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • In hoc signo vinces
  • Religion: Latin-Rite Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2022, 09:03:43 PM »
To further the discussion, would you say that secular art, informed by the Temperance and the Faith, could have nudes?

Secular art is secular art. If it's "informed by Temperance and Faith", then is it still secular art? Or is it art produced by a devout Catholic (who would never dream of painting anything like Manet's Olympia, to give a well-known example), and that art simply happens to be available publicly for secular viewers? Say an allegorical painting with mythic references, appearing to be just an aesthetic piece to an atheist or agnostic, but much more evocative of timeless truths to someone with a classics/traditional Catholic arts education? (Come on, SD folks, can anyone think of a work that might fit such a description?)

I see, just a difference of definitions, but from what you said, I think we mean the same thing. By secular art, I mean artwork produced for the secular public, as opposed to for the Faithful. By secular art, you meant anything devoid of the illumination of the Faith.

A literary example: Lord of the Rings.
A Greco-Roman motif: the Three Graces https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charites
Bouguereau's mythic paintings? 
:cheesehead:
 

Offline Elizabeth

  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 5620
  • Thanked: 2975 times
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2022, 09:36:35 AM »
In Medieval sacred Manuscripts, the damned are naked and miserable.

One of the Corporal Acts of Mercy is to clothe the naked.

Then, there is Pope Pius XII's Encyclical The Function of Art which is a 15-point, loving simple interaction by the Holy Father for his beloved children.

 papalencyclicals.net  (His Holiness doesn't help me with making links)

 
The following users thanked this post: Lynne, Markus, andy, Justin Martyr, Melkor, AveMaria12, Instaurare omnia

Offline Elizabeth

  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 5620
  • Thanked: 2975 times
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2022, 10:24:59 AM »

From His Holiness Pope Pius XII  c. 1952
The Function of Art

11.)  Souls ennobled, elevated and prepared by art, are thus better disposed to receive the religious truths and the grace of Jesus Christ.  This is one of the reasons why the Sovereign Pontiffs, and the Church in general, honored and continue to honor art and offer its works as a tribute of human beings to God's Majesty in His churches, which have always been the abodes of art and religion at the same time.
 
The following users thanked this post: Instaurare omnia

Offline Instaurare omnia

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 1154 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2022, 10:28:09 AM »
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).
 
The following users thanked this post: Elizabeth

Offline Instaurare omnia

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 1154 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2022, 11:07:02 AM »
I see, just a difference of definitions, but from what you said, I think we mean the same thing.


The bigger matter is where such art fits into the priorities and perspective of a given person. (This applies for both artist and audience.) If the priority is art for art's sake, then it's not a Catholic question. But if the priority is sanctification, then art is considered through a completely different lens. (For that, please see what Elizabeth wrote in various posts above). When one is still young and/or less immersed in the faith, the question is shaped by the assumption of "what's the harm in this?" Yet as one ages and begins to take more seriously the state of one's own soul, artistic depictions of nudity become trifling. Until one reaches that stage, there's the quote attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo: "Lord, make me chaste, but not yet."
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).
 
The following users thanked this post: Elizabeth

Offline AveMaria12

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • In hoc signo vinces
  • Religion: Latin-Rite Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2022, 12:36:40 PM »
I see, just a difference of definitions, but from what you said, I think we mean the same thing.


The bigger matter is where such art fits into the priorities and perspective of a given person. (This applies for both artist and audience.) If the priority is art for art's sake, then it's not a Catholic question. But if the priority is sanctification, then art is considered through a completely different lens. (For that, please see what Elizabeth wrote in various posts above). When one is still young and/or less immersed in the faith, the question is shaped by the assumption of "what's the harm in this?" Yet as one ages and begins to take more seriously the state of one's own soul, artistic depictions of nudity become trifling. Until one reaches that stage, there's the quote attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo: "Lord, make me chaste, but not yet."

Thanks Instaurare Omnia,

I do understand every action that we undertake as needing to be discerned under the lens of sanctification. I appreciate how you say that the question of nudity becomes trifling, as in we should not get hung up about whether or not this or that scenario is appropriate, and should strive for sanctity. I wouldn't say that I'm obsessed with nudity, but I did want to hear opinions from other faithful Catholics that will help inform my conscience, so that's why I'm teasing out the point. Thanks for your wise words.

The way I see nude arts and visiting a nude beach is in the realm of leisure and contemplation of God in one's body. It helps me to have a healthy appreciation for my body and the body of others. For example, most people at a nude beach are not really attractive to look at, but when I visit, I try to stay in an attitude of prayer, and they help me to reflect on who God is. In terms of leisure, you can tan easier, and skinny dipping beats having to wear a wet, clingy bathing suit any day.

Attached is a reflection from Michelle Paine, a Catholic artist, on drawing the nude, which I found very beautiful. I wonder what you and the other members of this discussion have to say about it. Also, a recent painting she did of Mary: https://michellepaine.com/marian-painting-interrogatio/
« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 12:55:25 PM by AveMaria12 »
 

Offline Instaurare omnia

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 1154 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2022, 01:51:58 PM »
Attached is a reflection from Michelle Paine, a Catholic artist, on drawing the nude, which I found very beautiful. I wonder what you and the other members of this discussion have to say about it. Also, a recent painting she did of Mary: https://michellepaine.com/marian-painting-interrogatio/
Novus Ordo ecumenicism, and an attitude of cultural appropriation similar to those who seek the TLM out of preference for Palestrina over liturgical guitar-and-bongo rather than out of an insistence on correct worshipful relationship to the Sacrifice of the Mass. As for her contemplation of the nude model as "Adam and Eve before the Fall" -- cute, but that's not where we all live, last time I checked. Sorry if I sound cranky, but as a recent revert after much of my adulthood being alternately indifferent to or just fine with the likes of Michelle Paine, the gag reflex is lately what prompts my thinking.  :) 
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).
 
The following users thanked this post: Lynne, Justin Martyr

Offline BlueInGreen

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Thanked: 62 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2022, 02:31:12 PM »
I've thought about this for quite some time.

I believe not all nudity is created equal. In modern time, nudity depicted on tv and film is 99% done in a sexual manner (i.e. sex scenes) or done is a relatively meaningless manner (i.e. nudity for the sake of nudity - some sitcom has a random character walk in naked; some film shows the nude actress taking a shower or undressing). The nudity doesn't add to the character's development nor does it move the plot forward in any meaningful way. Nudity in shows like Game of Thrones, Normal People and Bridgeton are scenes that are, indeed, softcore pornography. There are many examples of nudity in film that are of made from the same cloth. Basically nudity shown on the silver screen is exploitative and ironically puts the actor in the same boat as the prostitute back in Roman times where both were more or less seen as equal). The different today is just today the environment in which the actor finds himself in is posh which gives the false impression that what they're doing is somehow "different" than what the stripper is doing or the OnlyFans model is doing or the glamour model is doing. You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig at the end of the day. With that said, that pig is whom we're called to have empathy, compassion and love for.

The nudity found in Renaissance paintings or sculpture isn't the same as in what's found in tv or film. Nude modeling is actually an interesting topic. The nudity in nude modelling tends to concentrate on the ability of the sketcher and, if he's successful, the viewer is drawn to the beauty of the body that was sketched and the ability of the sketcher. There's a "buffer" where the objectification of the model is to a greater good than the usual "because art." One can't replay a nude sketch or screen cap an actresses body as with tv/film - a medium that immortalizes ones nudity in a degrading way. Instead, for nude figure drawing the viewer tends to see beauty of the body - not caring for the identity of the model as much as the identity of the sketcher. It's the sketching of beauty. Nude modeling in the form of glamour modeling I see as the same as nudity found in tv and film - smut. Sure, there are some artistic black and white nude modeling, but many people consume the Playboy magazine type of nude modeling.

One perspective I found that matches my deepest thoughts on nudity, especially when it comes to tv/film: The most appropriate form of nudity is for their spouse (sex, undressing or changing in the same room), their children (breastfeeding) and for physicians (medical reasons).

Currently I haven't formed an opinion on nude beaches.

"no intent on sexual arousal"

Nudity, for the most part, innately causes some degree of sexual arousal unless it's for a medical exam. Physicians tend to look at the body as coldly as possible. Sure, CS Lewis or whomever said nudity in that case is arbitrary given the cultural norms, but even in the most "I see no issue with bare breasts" society (i.e. Western Europeans) they're generally hyprocrites since they themselves don't walk down the street topless. You bet my bottom dollar that if a Brit sees a person walking down the street topless or nude they'll do a double take and say that's inappropriate.

A naked body isn't a bad thing by itself. Sleeping in the nude is neither good nor bad. Being naked in one's room after a shower is neither good nor bad. Being naked in front of your spouse before slapping some skin isn't bad. If you're naked because you want to do some social experience then that's questionable. If you're naked because some tv/film producer/director wants your character naked "because we can - nudity is normal [in tv/film]" that's even a bigger problem.

The depth of the discussion should lead to "Why is that person naked?" The "why" is where we get into the real interesting tidbits. This then should lead into the normative claim of "should." Should one take off their clothes in X or Y situation?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2022, 03:07:19 PM by BlueInGreen »
Cradle Catholic traversing modernism while rediscovering my heritage - in faith and ethnically.
 
The following users thanked this post: Críostóir, AveMaria12

Offline Instaurare omnia

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 1154 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Nudity and Nakedness
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2022, 02:55:08 PM »
in front of your spouse before slapping some skin

It's called the conjugal act.
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).