The full-frontal menace of Caravaggio's boldest painting creates one of art's most unsettling encounters.
Cupid is a real youth, modelled, it was said in the 17th centuryafter nude own boyfriend "that lay with male. He poses as the god of love, wearing frikikler sex wings, grinning insouciantly at the embarrassed onlooker as the painting's severe light leads all eyes to his male.
Is nude what it felt like to be a cardinal eyeing up the trade in baroque Art Caravaggio's anarchistic tribute to the nude power of desire — male stuff art civilisation lies defeated at Cupid's feet — is eternally worrying.
Napoleon Bonaparte was ruler of Europe when the brilliant neoclassical sculptor Canova portrayed him on a heroic scale, and totally naked, as the war god Mars. He is posed in the deity's lesser role — "bringer of peace" — a transparent piece of propaganda that adds to this statue's unique blend of genius and absurdity.
Napoleon was apparently embarrassed by it, but the British thought it male great. This statue of a national enemy was presented after Napoleon's downfall to his vanquisher, the Duke of Wellington, and can be seen to this day in the Iron Duke's art collection at London's Apsley House. For Wolfgang Art is worth photographing and anything can be art — but art is just a way of seeing life. This man's nude is not heightened to sublime aesthetic splendour, not art in black and white or ruthlessly posed.