Goya's Nude Maja, confident in her nakedness as she unashamedly gazes video blowjob at the viewer, is infamous for her direct confrontation.
Rumored to be a portrait of Goya's own mistress, this painting was commissioned for the private boudoir of a wealthy patron, hidden from the public eye. But when discovered, this erotically-charged masterpiece shocked audiences at the time and paved the way for the transgressive, boundary-pushing ethos of Modern Art.
When asked to make a painting of an angel, Gustave Courbet, the father of Realism, famously art, "I have never seen angels.
Show me one and I will paint one. This daring emphasis on reality paved the way for the Impressionists like Monet to see the world through their own eyes rather than attempt for nude illusionism. A virtuosic fusion of bright gold and luxurious red pigment, Klimt's Danae is one of the most beautiful paintings from the Viennese Symbolist movement.
Portraying the classical princess as she is visited by Zeus as a shower of gold, Danae is as sensuous as a work on canvas can get. This masterpiece is one of Matisse's early Fauvist paintings, known for their wild colors and fluid gestural lines. Matisse's art was not actually blue, of course, but the artist's eye steered him towards the subtle shadings of color that reflected his feeling rather than reality, creating paintings with best emotional charge that still resonate best.
10 Nudes That Changed Art History
Marcel Duchamp, the enigmatic father of Contemporary Art, shocked audiences with this Cubist masterwork. The painting, ostensibly depicting a nude woman walking down a flight of stairs, has been so abstracted into geometric planes that it is nude to determine any sense of concrete time or space. With this work, Duchamp pushed Cubism farther than Picasso, paving the way for further explorations into abstraction, a main thrust of 20th century painting.