…by Bertel Thorvaldsen, 1804.
Category Archives: Sculpture
It was the sculptor Praxiteles who was commissioned to produce the first female nude, probably sometime in the 360s BC. The commission came from the people of Kos, an island a few miles from the Turkish coast, opposite Bodrum. Pliny the Elder tells us that when the sculptor presented them with his sculpture, supposedly modeled after the famous hetaira Phryne, the islanders were so shocked that they declined to accept it, and ordered a draped version instead. The nude in question was instead purchased by the people of Knidos, a city on the mainland opposite Kos. By accepting it, we’re told, the Knidians greatly enhanced the fame, or perhaps notoriety of their city, which was probably what they intended.