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Eves Nudity A Sign Of Shame Or Precursor Of Christological Economy?

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Chapter Summary

Byzantine art includes numerous images of female nudity, which is an unexpected phenomenon given that this is an art that prefers to hide rather than unveil the human body, but the question as to why this is so has?surprisingly enough?only been addressed superficially. As one would expect, the most widespread occurrence of such nudity is in connection with religious subjects, the place of honor being held by Creation story. This chapter focuses on representations of Eve?s nudity in five Byzantine Octateuchs?densely illustrated Bibles produced in eleventh and twelfth centuries. Author argues that the pictorial approach to pre-lapsarian human body, as opposed to its post-lapsarian gendered appearance, is to be sought in the Greek catenae, the collection of exegetical fragments attached to particular verses of the Bible. Two features are pertinent to this discussion: asexualized body of Eve and the facial resemblance of the two personages?young, delicate, and angelic-like in expression.

Keywords: Bible; Byzantine Octateuchs; christological economy; creation story; Eve?s nudity; Greek catenae; human body



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