On the difference between nakedness and nudity  

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"The English language, with its elaborate generosity, distinguishes between the naked and the nude."--The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form (1956) by Kenneth Clark

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Several thinkers have made a difference between nudity and nakedness in the context of the nude in Western art history.

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Denis Diderot

"The Chaste Susanna" is a small chapter in Diderot's Salon de 1767. It is famous for Diderot's thoughts on the difference between decent and indecent in relation to nudity and partial nudity or semi-nudity. Diderot uses a painting by Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée of Susanna and the Elders and argues that a completely naked woman is not indecent but a partially clad one who shows herself is.

Kenneth Clark

Nudity is different from nakedness; Kenneth Clark argues in The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form (1956) that " the word [nudity] was forced into our vocabulary by critics of the early eighteenth century to persuade the artless islanders [of the UK] that, in countries where painting and sculpture were practiced and valued as they should be, the naked human body was the central subject of art."

"The English language, with its elaborate generosity, distinguishes between the naked and the nude. 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 and defenseless body, but of a balanced, prosperous, and confident body: the body re-formed. In fact, the word was forced into our vocabulary by critics of the early eighteenth century to persuade the artless islanders [of the UK] that, in countries where painting and sculpture were practiced and valued as they should be, the naked human body was the central subject of art."

John Berger

Sixteen years later, in 1972, John Berger in Ways of Seeing argues that "a naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become a nude," introducing the concept of sexual objectification.

"To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become a nude. (The sight of it as an object stimulates the use of it as an object.) Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. To be naked is to be without disguises."

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