Should you ever send nude pictures taken for an old lover to a new partner?
Source:The Guardian Author:Jonathan Jones Date: 2019-02-21 Size:
What do you say if you send a nude selfie to a lover……

Still sexy after 500 years. Allegory of Fortune by Dosso Dossi, c1530, can be seen in the Royal Academy’s forthcoming exhibition The Renaissance Nude. Photograph: The J Paul Getty Museum

What do you say if you send a nude selfie to a lover and they discover it was taken, say, two months ago? Is it cheating? Look, I was born way back in the 20th century. You may as well have asked the late Sister Wendy about contemporary dating. But according to Cosmopolitan, sending an explicit selfie past its stare-by date to a new lover really does pose ethical and practical dilemmas.

I can only recommend art history as the answer. Tell your incredibly shallow darling that the nude is not an accurate image of the lumpen human body. It is a gracious idealisation of our perfect imaginary form. That “out of date” phone pic is, in fact, a timeless dream of beauty. If that sounds too much like Kenneth “Civilisation” Clark, cite Picasso’s orgiastic nude etchings in his Vollard Suite or Tracey Emin’s paintings of herself naked and haunted by loneliness and grief. Art might just show someone so lacking in heart that they expect up-to-the-minute proof of a lover’s appearance that it isn’t like that. It can’t be like that. Every image with meaning is one that persists in time. That goes for naked portraits, too. Many of the paintings and sculptures soon to be unveiled in the Royal Academy’s exhibition The Renaissance Nude are still sexy after 500 years. Beauty conquers time – tell them that. A three-word text.

Clearly, if someone demands daily visual evidence of your conformity to standards of nude excellence, they probably have a very narrow definition of the desirable. This, too, can be corrected by art. Rembrandt went out of his way to show the fat and folds of his nude models, yet found drawing them hugely erotic. He was influenced by Rubens, whose goddesses are human carnivals of delight. Similarly, to judge by the results, Lucian Freud found the nonconformist flesh of Sue Tilley much more exciting to paint than the supposed perfections of Kate Moss.

So, if you really think this arsehole is worth bothering with, take them to an art museum to show the true wonder and diversity of the human body. But can there be a reality in which up-to-the-minute phone nudes are the stuff of love? Best send Munch’s Scream, say it’s your latest selfie, then throw away your phone.

[Editor] 张艳