The Female Form Throughout Time - Bridget Dombkoski

This gallery contains sculptures of the nude female form dating all the way back to the 5th century. The purpose is to showcase how different cultures depicted the female body and how it has changed or transformed throughout the centuries. It is interesting to see how different eras or locations affected the interpretations of female beauty in art.

This sculpture depicts only the torso of a female’s body, as it seems the rest has broken off or eroded away. Carved around the female’s neck are multiple pieces of jewelry. This implies the importance of those aspects to the women of this culture. What appears to be rope can be seen wrapped around her breasts. This may have been a way to accentuate the female figure.
This sculpture depicts a steatopygous female. Steatopygia refers to having substantial layers of tissue on the buttocks and thighs. This genetic characteristic is prevalent in women among the Khoisan people of Southern Africa. This artwork is a depiction of the beautiful female form found within this culture. Her waist and hips create a triangle shape, to exaggerate her figure.
English artist, Joseph Nollekens, created this sculpture in the 18th century. It depicts Venus, the goddess of beauty and love, leaning inward and removing one of her sandals. This is just one of the many pieces of artwork featuring Venus, which shows how emblematic she was of female beauty and sexuality within Roman culture.
This sculpture depicts the torso of a young female. Although the texture of this piece is rough and uneven, the shape and curves of the female form are still very clear. Her back is arched and her chest is pointing towards the sky. This implies a sense of confidence and power.
This old and discolored sculpture depicts a woman raising her arm, as if she's pointing at something or directing someone to do something. Her head is bald and her breasts hang low, which may imply that she is an elder.
This sculpture is from the year 1913. Titled “pensive woman”, it depicts a nude women standing with her head held low, as if deep in thought. The artist carved her eyes as deep and empty holes, which make her appear to be sad. She is also holding one arm behind her back, which implies nervousness.
This sculpture, from the 1930's, depicts a woman standing with her arms wrapped over her head. It is titled "Caryatid",which is the term that refers to a sculpture of a female figure that is serving as support for a building, and is taking the place of a pillar. This woman looks as if she is caving under the pressure of the pillar, which may imply something more deep.
This bronze sculpture depicts a standing nude woman. Her muscular arms are resting on her hips and her bare chest is facing upward. This triumphant stance shows a woman that is confident in her body and with who she is. This sculpture is one of many that artist Gaston Lachaise created after being inspired by the beautiful curvaceous figure of his wife.
This sculpture titled “Narcissism”, depicts a nude woman sitting with her legs crossed. She is holding an object that displays two faces, implying that she is looking at herself in a mirror. There are many different ways this piece could be interpreted. One interpretation may be that the female gender obsesses over self image.
This sculpture is exceptionally strong and loud, both in its physical stature and in the materials used to create it. The carefully shaped stainless steel rods show tremendous form and dominance of the female. The muscle definition shown throughout as well as the flawless characterization make this piece both very imposing and almost intimidating while still keeping true to the gentle and elegant nature of women.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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