Renaissance nudes still have the power to strongly affect the viewer- to offend, to embarrass, to fascinate, to inspire. Dr Jill Burke, Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, will investigate how Renaissance people understood the effects of looking at images of the naked body. Taking a broad, pan-European approach, the lecture will delve into Renaissance medical, literary and spiritual writings to consider how sight was understood to affect the body and mind. Through close analysis of Renaissance and Baroque paintings in the Scottish National Gallery, we will consider how the naked body was believed to enhance religious devotion, affect the course of disease, form beautiful babies, or drive viewers wild with desire.
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