Nov 19, 2017

Academic Nudes: 18th Century Beefcake

It's a myth that the muscular modern physique didn't exist until the 20th century, when scientific weight-training and nutritional supplements bulked us up.  The muscular physique has always been a source of desire and joy.

In the 18th century, painters went to the Academy of Art to learn their trade.  To learn to draw figures, they drew nude male models.











Very buffed models.

This is not just artistic license: They were supposed to be drawing realistic "life" portraits.












Complete with penis (frontal nudity is legal on a G-rated blog if it's art).










There were flourishing academies in France, Spain, the Netherlands, England, and Italy.

















Usually there is no background, but sometimes mythological themes are added.
















I wonder what these models did in real life.  Were they workmen?  The lovers of the artists?  Both?
















Here's a print of the Academy of Arts examining a male model.















And a rather more buffed one.












Some of these guys would not look out of place in a bathhouse today.

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