Naked or Nude? by Maidy Morhous

Funny question I know, but this often comes up in the world art and artists who paint, photograph, or sculpt the human figure. Sure it’s all about being in the buff, as one might put it, but what really defines the differences between the two words?

These two words represent important and very different ways not only in how we look at an image, but how we judge its value and the value of those involved in its creation.

Let’s look through the prism of art history. The naked/nude question is a subcategory of, and inevitably leads to, the Big Question: What Is Art?

Here's what the late Lord Kenneth Clark, one of the most respected art historians of the 20th century, said in his book The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form:

"To be naked is to be deprived of our clothes, and the word implies some of the embarrassment most of us feel in that condition. The word 'nude,' on the other hand, carries, in educated usage, no uncomfortable overtone. The vague image it projects into the mind is not of a huddled, defenseless body, but of a balanced, prosperous, and confident body."

In other words Clark considers Nude as art and naked as not~

You just have to love it that the arts are able to do anything in the name of art!

After viewing hundreds of opinions online though, I think the best post answered it quite simply: The word "nude" can be used either as a noun or an adjective. The word "naked" is strictly an adjective.

So what do you think – Naked or nude?

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