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Female Bathers And The Emergence Of The Female Nude In Greek Art

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the iconography of naked women shown bathing and dressing in Greek art from their appearance in the later sixth century B.C. into the Hellenistic period, relying primarily on the evidence of vase painting. The introduction of Eros makes explicit the fundamentally erotic nature of the naked female bather, but the appearance of the kneeling bather, long recognized as one of the most important figural inventions of the classical period, is associated with a clear elevation of the naked bathers social status. The lekanis is a nuptial shape, and here the shape confirms the nuptial orientation of the iconography, the pyxis and epinetron are female shapes, and the lekythos was used for scented oils.

Keywords: Female bathers; female nude; Greek Art; kneeling bather; vase painting



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