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The artist and the nude
An inconsistent and prurient puritanism has succeeded in evolving an ideal
Throughout the 19th century artists used traditional themes to elevate their subjects. They created images that referenced classical ideals, placing nudes within a ‘perfect’ world.
During the Edwardian era artists scrutinised their own image in self-portraits and began painting nudes in everyday settings. Walter Sickert depicted aspects of life that his contemporaries would have preferred not to have seen: a shameful world where prostitutes lived in squalid bed-sits in the North London area of Camden Town, notorious for the murders that took place there.
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