Primož Jakopin

From Nudes to Cave Nudes

Contents:
  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Introduction
  3. Nudes
  4. History of Nudes
    1. Prehistoric Times
    2. Antiquity
    3. Renaissance
    4. From Neoclassicism to WWI
    5. Modernism and Postmodernism
    6. Naïve art
    7. Popular art
    8. Nudes in Slovenian Art
  5. Joy of Life
  6. Nude Types
    1. Nudes
    2. Semi-nudes
    3. Implied Nudes
    4. Bodyscapes
    5. Landscape Nudes
    6. Underwater Nudes
    7. Abstract Nudes
    8. Fashion Nudes
    9. Painted Nudes
    10. Animal Nudes
    11. Combinations
  7. Cave Nudes
    1. Pre-Modern Times
    2. Contemporary Art
    3. Nude Cave Calendars
  8. Own Experience
  9. Conclusion

1. Acknowledgements

          I would first like to express my gratitude to Richard Forster for the permission to publish his photo from The hall of the needles, 2011, to Vladimir Posypai for contribution of a photo of his watercolor Nude at lake Bled, 2023, to Pierre Strinati to allow the use of two of his photos, one from the Saint-Martin cave, 1980 and from the pool of his house, 1981, to Peter Gedei for the permission to include two of his photos: of a scene in Mitjina jama cave, 2007, and of a scene in Jazbina v Rovnjah cave, 2017, to Elena Prenner for permission to publish the photo of the painting Her patience No. 1, 2023, as well as to Lučka Uršič, for the permission to use the photo, taken by her father Anton Pečan on the bank of river Sava in 1931. A photo from Jezerina cave and the colour composition at the end of the article are by the author while all the other illustrations come from the Wikimedia Commons collection of freely usable media files. A click on those pictures takes the viewer to their source page on Wikimedia Commons, where more details are given.
          Further thanks go to Vitalij Martynenko for his criticism of the draft and to all the others who have contributed to this work, either directly or by making available many resources published herein, including the web site archive.org that helped recover several images of many, present in the earlier versions of this work which have since disappeared from their original locations.
          The paper was originally published in June 2014, first revision in May 2015, second revision in August 2017, third revision in January 2021, fourth revision in March 2022 and fifth revision in June 2022. Of 54 accompanying pictures the origins of five were explained in the previous paragraphs, three were provided by the author and the remaining 46 are coming from the Wikimedia Commons repository. A click on those pictures takes the viewer to their source page.
          Abridged version of the paper was published in Jamar (Caver) journal, volume 7, year 2015, pages 57 - 59 (in Slovenian), titled O jamskih aktih (On Cave Nudes).

2. Introduction

          In the first week of June 2014, from Wednesday to Friday, the e-mail list of DZRJL, Ljubljana Cave Exploration Society (DZRJL-list@speleo.net) witnessed a considerable discussion about the caving calendar which would show nude cavers, both male and female, in cave environment. There were 14 postings on the subject, started by Matija (Perne) on behalf of Rok (Grecs). Other contributors were Dean (Pestator), Bajsi (Fatsy / Kristofer Pečar), Teo (Delić), Armin (Krivec) and Pac (Miran Erič).
          It all started from the web page Nudes / Caves with cave nudes of the Geneva photographer Richard Forster - a selection of his images can be found on the web site Aphroditephoto.net.



Richard Forster: Hall of the needles, Vallorbe caves, 2011

Forster is a self-taught photographer, but over time his work improved, he participated in many photo contests, published in books and magazines and in 1993 he was honored the title FIAP Artist by the Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP). After 1970 he devoted his talent mainly to nudes, he works alone, at best outdoors, in the nature, with models who find this work acceptable and meaningful. As testified by the abovementioned web page his quest brought him to caves, too.
          The discussion on the DZRJL list developed into general agreement that a production of a caving nude calendar in the framework of the society would make sense, and that it should be something along the lines of a calendar, produced by another Ljubljana caving club, JKŽ, Jamarski klub Železničar / Railway Caving Club for the year 2008. In the end Pac wrote that he suggested the idea of such a calendar eight years ago, but did not get any echo from the society members.
          As in 2007, on the occasion of the JKŽ calendar, the writer of these lines felt the urge to respond, and if the circumstances in 2007 prevented him from doing so, the flow of time changed the state of affairs slowly and after three close encounters with eternity it became clear to him, in 2014, that the time for further hesitation is no longer available.

3. Nudes

          The topic is generally well known, it is not only part of general education but also a beloved domain of those who are not interested in school at all. But nevertheless it makes sense to illuminate the field a little wider. A lot of knowledge and findings from history can be put to good use for an application to cave environment.
          Nude, the artistic depiction of undressed body, has a long tradition in arts, it has always been used to express ideals of male and female beauty and other human qualities (after a Wikipedia article). Or, as Carola Eißler wrote in her introduction to "Nudes in Art": After all, as a motif, the unclothed body presents an almost infinite number of opportunities to depict the way that people see themselves, their ideals, fears, and dreams.
          At the academies of fine arts and in other art schools female nude (85 % of all painted nudes) is part of the curriculum for several reasons - besides classic and romantic value it is a very good subject to study drawing of curved surfaces and soft transitions from light to dark.
          The best nudes are certainly those in a natural, non-made-up setting, such as in the two etchings by the Danish painter Anders Zorn (1860 - 1920), shown below.

     

Anders Zorn: Early, etching, 1914 and Stony Ground, etching, 1910.

          Even nowadays nude fares better than other art topics because of the fact that from the Middle Ages on (closer milestone is the year 1797) especially in the western hemisphere the subject is connected to something secret, forbidden, indecent. The adversaries of such depiction of beauty made life miserable to many, but certainly could not suppress this art stream completely. In short the essence of the problem can be summed up in a thought of Michelangelo Buonarroti: What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?

4. History of Nudes

4.1 Prehistoric Times

          From the prehistoric times several instances of mainly female nude statues have been found - the second eldest example is the Venus of Hohle Fels, dated to between 40,000 and 35,000 years ago and unearthed in 2008 in a cave near Schelklingen, Germany.
          The eldest, however, is the Venus of Tan-tan, gender indeterminate and faceless, discovered in 1999 near the bridge of the N1 route over the Draa river in Morocco, on the northern river bank terrace.



Venus of Tan-Tan, quartzite statue with red paint traces, 6 cm tall, 400.000 years old. A drawing by José-Manuel Benito.

          It is a 6 cm tall quartzite statue, believed to be a creation of natural geological processes, but it had a human-like shape and was therefore recognized by early man as such. He accentuated human shape by carving the piece with a stone chisel and by coloring it with red ochre pigments. The artifact is about 400.000 years old and so by far the earliest representation of the human form.

4.2 Antiquity

          The depiction of human body as a form of art to which we are used to first appeared in ancient Egypt, before it reached its first culmination in the old Greece. Two nudes from Egypt survived, the first, the photo of it is not publicly available, is a Statuette of a Nude Girl, ca. 1390-1353 BCE, ivory, painted, 8.3 x 1.6 cm. It is exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum, New York and was probably used as a pendant. The second, larger and more elaborate statuette, exhibited in Louvre, is dated slightly later, and is also shown below.
 



Nude woman, ivory, 10.5 cm, Third Intermediate Period, cca 1300 BCE. Photo by Rama.

     



Myron: Discus thrower, 124 cm, a Roman copy (1st century AD) of the original from the 5th century BCE. Photo by Matthias Kabel.

The first nude from old Greece was male, it was not from more affordable marble, but from bronze, it depicts an athlete, and athletes at the time competed undressed. The original is not preserved, but its existence was known from Roman descriptions many years before 1781, before the discovery of the above scaled down copy (shown above right) in the yard of the Villa Palombara in Rome. It is now kept at Palazzo Massimo of the Museo nazionale romano (National Roman Museum) in Rome.



Roman copy of a statue by Praxiteles: Aphrodite of Knidos, 4th century BCE. Photo by Vitold Muratov.

     



Alexandros of Antioch: Venus de Milo, 2nd century BCE. Photo by Matt Girling.

          The most famous nudes from the Greek time are depicted above. The first, Aphrodite of Knidos is from the 4th century BCE. As in the cave of Myron's disc thrower the original statue is not preserved, the above photo (left) shows a Roman copy to which a missing head was made and attached in modern time. The story about the origin of the statue is especially interesting. People from the island Kos commissioned the most known sculptor of the time, Praxiteles, to make a sculpture of the goddess Aphrodite. The commission was very important so he made two statues of the goddess, a dressed and an undressed one. When the customers saw the two, they were appalled by the undressed and bought the dressed one; about this statue history has nothing more to say. The undressed one was seen by the inhabitants of the city of Knidos and they immediately purchased it. On the coast they built a special open temple for the statue so that it could be looked at from all sides. The statue became quickly so famous that people from near and far were coming to see it. When the city happened to come deeply in debt, Nicomedes II, the king of Bithynia, offered to pay all the city debts in exchange for the statue. But his offer was refused, so valuable it was for the city. Later the statue has been copied many times and parts of Roman copies have been preserved. This work of art had a strong influence to sculpture of classicism and neoclassicism of the 19th century.
          Of one of the later Greek depictions of Aphrodite, from the island of Milos (above right) the major part was preserved, save the hands. The fact that we have the original statue, not only a Roman copy, and a beautiful one at that, makes Venus de Milo especially precious.

Statues from antiquity still fared better than paintings, it was more difficult to crush every single bit of them. The most famous painter from antiquity, Apelles from the island of Kos painted the first known nude, Venus rising from the sea (Venus Anadyomene) in the fourth century BCE. Alexander the Great provided him the model, Campaspe. For these nudes two names are commonly used, but it was always goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite in Greece and Venus in the old Rome. The Apelles painting was later seized by the Roman emperor Augustus who took it to Rome, where it was lost in the whirlwind of time. But the painting was often copied



Aphrodite Anadyomene / Aphrodite rising from the sea, Pompeii, before 79 AD. Photo by Stephen Haynes.

and, thanks to the otherwise fatal eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD, the motif survived - in a part of a Pompeii fresco. Writings of Pliny the Elder contain a very vivid description of the Apelles painting. It helped later, especially renaissance artists to make their reincarnations of the motif.

4.3 Renaissance

          Antiquity, where the most important activity in the field of art was on the Greek side, was followed by the Middle Ages. In Europe it was the time of complete domination of an institution which handled both the art and the science more by crook than by hook and ... it meant a millennium of silence in art, not to mention the nudes.



Sandro Botticelli: The Birth of Venus, 1486.

          But after the rain, the sun always shines and the renaissance brought a great revival of antique art. A splendid example is the Birth of Venus by Botticelli. It is important for cave related art because it contains a wealth of color nuances also found in caves, from white and beige to orange and brown.



Peter Paul Rubens: The Three Graces, 1635. Photo by Shui Shou Yue, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

          At about the same time another bright star arose on the artistic sky, the Flemish painting school, Dutch golden era, which developed painting to at the time unsurpassed heights, sensitivity and pure beauty. The majesty of forms and colors also spilled in the field of nudes and The Three Graces by Rubens just radiate with splendor.
          They have developed the handling of light and dark (licht-donker, chiaro-scuro) to perfection and, based on such paintings as Travelers Awaiting a Ferry by Philips Wouwerman in 1649, one can only guess what all would we get had mother nature endowed the Dutch plain with a nice limestone hill or two, full of caves.



Michelangelo Buonarroti: David, 1501 - 1504. Photo by Marcus Obal.

          In Florence, Italy renaissance left some extraordinary masterpieces and Michelangelo showed in a very genuine way what can be done from a large piece of Carrara marble - the statue measures 515 x 190 x 115 cm. When he was finally commissioned to make the statue the stone was lying in the yard of the cathedral for almost 40 years already and it had evident traces of two failed sculpture projects.

4.4 From neoclassicism to WWI

          Antique influences continued to prevail even after the renaissance and reached a culmination in the neoclassicism of the 19th century. Sculpture examples are



Bertel Thorvaldsen: Venus with Apple, 1806. Photo by Serge Ottaviani.

Venus with Apple by the Danish master Thorvaldsen, and even more his Three Graces. On world top lists of the best nudes of all time, compiled by art critics, this trio is regularly placed quite close to the top, in the company of Michelangelo's David.



Bertel Thorvaldsen: The Three Graces and Cupid, 1817 - 19. Photo by Yair Haklai.

     



James Pradier: Les Trois Graces, 1831.

          In nudes usually just a single person was depicted, or it was a the central motif of the artwork. Rarely a nude covered a small group of persons, such as the Three Graces. But it was only a question of time when some artist would strive for more splendor, would create a work with more models. Selection of the scene is in this case however more difficult, to make the work convincing the author had to resort to some water-related activity; people in history always used to bath undressed.



Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: Le Bain Turc, 1863.

          The honor went to French painter Ingres, the work depicts a scene from the Turkish harem. Unfortunately the author changed the format of the painting from square to round a few years after the creation and so deprived us of continuations in both lower corners of the image.
          The theme of the birth of Venus was also not exhausted yet. Probably the best example is the picture below, painted by Bouguereau for the Paris Salon of 1879. It was awarded the Grand Prix de Rome, to a great dismay of his adversaries, the impressionists.



William-Adolphe Bouguereau: The Birth of Venus, 1879. Photo by Max Shimasu.

          In 19th century painting did not flourish only in the Old Continent, a lot was happening also in the New World. In the field of nudes great work was done by Thomas Eakins (1844 - 1916), who dealt with this theme for several decades and also made quite a few studies of movement.



Thomas Eakins: Swimming, 1885.

          The painting Swimming is now considered to be one of the masterpieces of North American fine arts, and is at the same time one of the rare group male nudes. It was based on a study, a photograph of his students from the academy.
          A similar, but photographically not covered scene took place in September 2011 in the cave Čolniči / Small Boats near Cerkniško jezero lake, Slovenia. An unexpected rise in the water level surprised a party, consisting of DZRJL cavers, members of DLKJ (The Križna jama cave Society) and guests. The trail to the Great Hall was no longer passable and so the cavers were faced with a tough choice - either to turn back or to swim across a small lake, in cold, though not freezing-cold water. Quite a few of them decided for a swim and some of it can be seen at 0' 58'' of this short film.
          Eakins also made several photo studies for oil paintings which he later could not (or did not dare to) make. One of them is the above photo, which was aimed, as many his other athletic studies, to artistically illustrate the human body power.

          Oncoming new movements, the most visible was the impressionism, brought an end to neoclassicism. Time has come when the reality chose to move away from the canvas and stone, the time of metamorphosis. At the beginning the metamorphosis was gentle, brush strokes just slightly stylized, as with impressionists and the Paris school.



Amedeo Modigliani: Nude in Red, 1917.

          The above painting is one of seven nudes, painted by Modigliani in 1917 for his only solo exhibition. They were all made at the initiative of his galerist and friend Leopold Zborowsky from Poland, who provided the studio, canvases, brushes, the models, food and painter's fee for every day of work.



Paul Cézanne: Les Grandes Baigneuses, 1906.

          The above very lucrative scene was not painted by Ingres, he was no more, but by Cézanne. The composition is perfect, colors just as one could wish for, only the girls are already more in style of time, with the nearing apocalypse of the First World War.



Pablo Picasso: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907.

          The great Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso, certainly could not fall behind. He embarked on a similar motif, also as an answer to Joy of Life (Le Bonheur de vivre) by Henri Matisse and one of the most important canvases of the 20th century was made. It in a certain way illustrates the horror of oncoming times, from the A-bomb to the cancer-Lyme disease mischief of today. Especially the portrait of the upper right prostitute could very well serve (according to DZRJL maverick Bajsi / Fatty) as a picture to be put on the cupboard so that the children would not dare to steal biscuits from it.



Marcel Duchamp: Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, 1912.

          Things took their own course, and to recognize a woman descending a staircase in the above picture, not wearing a long dance dress, and that it is also not a case of multiple superimposed images, requires quite a lot of imagination. But it certainly cannot be denied that the picture has a very beautiful transition from tired sandy color to completely dark brown, with all the hues in between. The painting could serve as a good starting point for an abstract depiction of Stopnišče / Staircase tunnel in Najdena jama cave, painted with light.

4.5 Modernism and Postmodernism

          After the artistic big-bang at the end of 19th and in early 20th century it was (and is) no easy task to move on. Just as the great Flemish school left a great void after 17th century which lasts till today, it is difficult to assess how the art of 20th and early 21st century will be judged by posterior generations.



Pablo Picasso: Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, 1932.

          Among the most expensive paintings, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol are best represented, there are several nudes, also by Modigliani and Picasso. One of them is shown above, it belongs to the more eye-pleasing part of Picasso paintings, while three of the top ten paintings are abstract paintings, from the 1948 - 1955 period, by Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
          Between the two wars there were some reflections of past times, for instance in the paintings of Tamara de Lempicka, typical of her work is the nude Adam and Eve (1932, private collection).
          Later on there were some examples of quite surprising paths to nude opera. One is a series of Lithographs in blue by Henri Matisse in the early fifties and another is an opus of over 250 works, The Helga Pictures, painted by Andrew Wyeth between 1971 and 1985.



Lucian Freud, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, 1995.

          Modern time has little contact with beauty as it was understood by former generations. An eloquent example is the above picture, painted by the grandson of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. The painter is also known for the very unflattering portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
          Lucian Freud (1922 - 2011) is certainly not the only representative of the new nude aesthetics. Members of the new generation, well known are for instance the works of English painter Jenny Saville (born 1970), continue in this direction. In her nude, appropriately titled Plan (1993) she enriched the picture with contour lines, as are present on topographic maps.
          In sculpture the works of Jeff Koons, ex-husband of Ilona Staller, with a stage name Cicciolina, are still very much in vogue. In 1990 he made a series of photographs, paintings and statues for the "Image World: Art and Media Culture" exhibition (Whitney Museum). The series was titled Made in Heaven, the models were Koons himself and Ilona and the content was more or less erotic. In the opinion of many his set design lifted kitsch to unsurpassed levels; an example is the painting in the technique of oil inks silkscreened on canvas titled Fingers between legs. Later on he devoted his talent mainly to inflatable structures, often made of tin, painted with metal colors and polished to high gloss. A recent example is the statue of the American singer Lady Gaga, 2013.

          The biggest boom in the area of nudes, especially in recent years, has come in photography. A proper overview of this field would require a major study, so let us illustrate it with just two outstanding examples.
          The first is, who else but the master Helmut Newton with his prophetically titled diptych Sie kommen / They are coming (Undressed and dressed), 1981.
          In the area of male and female beauty the works of Robert Mapplethorpe gained and kept a very remarkable place, especially in the depiction of vitality, the force of life.



Spencer Tunick: Nude Installation, Eastnor Castle, England, 8 August 2010, 11:11 a.m.

          Nowadays fine art is not limited just to painting and sculpture, installations are becoming commonplace. Sometimes they are durable and can be kept in a gallery or in home, sometimes they are more instant, they last just a couple of minutes or hours. In the field of nudes a good example are the nude installations of Spencer Tunick, with several ten to several thousand models. Years ago the models, who apply for participation in these events simply over Internet, "just like that" or au naturel, while in recent years the artist, as can be seen in the above photo, started to color them.
          For confirmation of hope, that all is not lost in modern art, speak the paintings of several authors. One of them is the Cypriot painter George Kotsonis, who studied in Beijing and graduated in Prague. Two of his examples are Bathers and A Couple with a Horse, probably the most gentle contemporary nude painting.

4.6 Naïve art

          Art genre, of painters without formal training, often ordinary people like peasants, their works are recognized by unconstrained simplicity and frankness, vivid colors, great attention to detail, it was established in the beginning of 20th century and also tackled the subject of nude.



Henri Rousseau: The Dream, 1910.

The work depicted above is by the most known representative of this art movement, who was virtually unknown till Pablo Picasso made him famous. In naïve art there are many other inspirational nude examples such as Naked Serenade by Seymour Etienne Bottex or Nude on a Red Cushion, 1931, by Camille Bombois.

4.7 Popular Art

          Even less appreciated as an art form than naïve art, often dismissed as kitschy and worthless, yet very widespread, is the pin-up art. It is a sensual, romantic, or erotic image of an usually idealized person of the opposite gender which the viewer would pin to a wall in his/her living or working space, where it can be watched at will. Pictures originally involved women ("cheesecake" for sweet) and later, with increasing equality of women, also good looking men ("beefcake"). Such images also appear in calendars and on other media, such as playing cards. It all started early in the 19th century, when the printing of color pictures came in general use as shown in the left picture below, and found wide use during the first and especially second world war, as postcards for lighter moments of soldiers on the battlefield (right picture below).

     

Pin-up type print after Adam Buck: Sophia Western, 1800 and Jean Agélou: Miss Fernande (Fernande Barrey), 1910 or some time later.

          Over time quite a few more capable artists joined the scene. Among the most known are: Alberto Vargas, who worked for Hollywood studios, the Esquire magazine (Vargas Girls) and Playboy magazine, where he produced 152 paintings from 1959 till 1974, George Petty and Gil Elvgren. The most comprehensive book on the subject is The Art of Pin-Up by Dian Hanson, with Louis Meisel and Sarahjane Blum, published by Taschen in 2014.



Alberto Vargas: Feline Entr'acte, watercolor on illustration board, 1919.

4.8 Nudes in Slovenian Art

          Most of publicly accessible works of Slovenian artists of the past is gathered in the National gallery of Slovenia. The gallery keeps an Internet catalogue and in the folder Exhibitions, further down to Permanent Collection and to Slovenian Early Modernism we quickly find the impressionist painter Matej Sternen and his Nude from 1914.
          An anecdote is related to this particular nude, told to writer of these lines by Rok Vidmar from the Ljubljana University Computing Centre, where they both used to work. While in high school the class of Rok visited the National Gallery to see its Permanent Collection and when he returned home his father Josip Vidmar, between the two (world) wars one of the more prominent members of Ljubljana night life, asked what Rok liked best in the gallery. Without hesitation Rok answered that it was the nude in red. To which his father added that the model in real life did not look half as good as on the painting.
          Though it is a very small country, Slovenia has quite a few prominent contemporary painters. In the field of nudes Bogoslav Kalaš (1942) has a very special place. He was a longtime professor at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design where he held the courses Likovna anatomija / Anatomy for Artists and Prostorske zasnove / Spatial Concepts. He invented a painting technique, called aerography, where the acryllic colors are applied to canvas, layer after layer, through a machine driven airbrush. Kalaš's aerographic paintings give a realistic impression, but are softer, gentler, subtly distorted by artist's imagination - his aerography suits nude very well. A good example is Nude (1971) from the Kalaš's exhibition in 1971 which stunned both the writer of these lines and the public in general. The computer era was coming in full force, Ljubljana was in 1971 the host of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) world congress, the author just started his first computer-generated graphics, lace-like patterns based on trigonometric functions, but that the milestone time will find such a charming echo in fine arts nobody could really expect.
          Very interesting is also Kalaš's reflection on beauty in modern art, published in the Slovenian weekly Mladina, on 23 April 2009: ... Beauty does not have the same validity it had in traditional arts, mostly it is not welcome at all. Artistic avant-gardes have developed the aesthetics of ugly ... which is well in line with the nudes of Freud and Saville.

5. Joy of Life

          Under construction

6. Nude Types

          Before moving on to the chapter on cave nudes it could be a good idea to explain some nude classification terms. This classification can help, to a great extent, how to best explain the setting of nudes in underground environments.

6.1 Nudes

 

Anders Zorn: Archipelago Flower, oil on canvas, 1916.

     



Ingres: Nude Study, drawing, undated.

          Nudes as the above two examples, the left one was painted early in 20th century by the Swedish artist Anders Zorn, the right one by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, probably in mid 1800-s, are nudes which are at best described as true nudes. Nude human body, facing the camera, is evidently the main object of the image, there is no masquerading, hypocrisy or hiding, it is a nude and not a still life with fruit and flowers.
 



Sleeping Venus by Giorgione and Titian, oil on canvas, around 1510

          Nudes were mainstream in antiquity but less so later, up to modern times. The first known reclining nude in Western art, depicted above, is the Sleeping Venus, initiated by Giorgione and completed after his death by Titian. It introduced the female nude as a subject.
          The new subject was not easily accepted, however. Even almost three centuries later Francisco Goya, the famous Aragon artist, painted the Naked Beauty (La maja desnuda) in 1797 and a pinch of hair in the (im)proper place disturbed the Spanish Inquisition (without that hair the image would pass without problems, as even nowadays in Japan) and he was summoned for an interrogation. What he was asked and how he answered is not known, he was spared burning on the stake (slightly out of vogue at the time) but lost a lucrative job at the Spanish court.

6.2 Semi-nudes

 



Egon Schiele: Semi-nude Reclining, around 1917.

          Semi-nudes usually depict just the upper part of the body as is the case in the above Schiele painting, or are rarely nudes where a certain part of the body (it is clear which) is covered by a piece of cloth, a scarf or is hidden in some other way.
          Semi-nudes are now common, the upper part of the female body is no longer such taboo as it used to be and in United States there is a Topfreedom movement for the equality of genders to be topless in public.
          In recent years it was also proved, especially in the case of an Easter Island movie titled Rapa Nui, filmed in 1994, that for Hollywood tanned breasts are much more acceptable than white. More on the subject was written by Roger Ebert - it is hard to disagree with his thought that female breasts are the most aesthetically pleasing part of the human anatomy.

6.3 Implied Nudes

 



Nude with Cat on a Chair, 2012.

          Implied nudes are nudes, where the angle of view is selected so that (before all) the most private part is not visible, the body is positioned in such a manner that this body point is out of sight, for instance by putting a leg over another, or some prop obstructs the view. These are "like" nudes with a motto: The model is all undressed, but again nothing problematic can be seen and so everything is OK. In the years after the turn of the millenium the human behind, just as the bosom, became acceptable for the general public and practically all charity nude calendars: rowing, fire brigade or housewife calendars - click to View gallery) are of this kind, with implied nudes.

6.4 Bodyscapes

 



Lori Overland: Lines of a Nude Female Form.

          The term bodyscape, familiar to other wide views such as landscape, seascape, sandscape, skyscape or cityscape was coined for mostly black and white, less often color photographs which depict closeup views of human figure in a way that conveys the impression of a landscape. They are usually taken in a studio-like setting, and the photographer can get, with suitable positioning of illumination, a play of light and shadows which accentuates the forms and shapes of human figure, not possible in normal lighting.

6.5 Landscape Nudes

 



Vladimir Posypai: Nude at lake Bled, watercolor, 2023.

          Landscape nudes or Nudes in landscape are nudes, where the model is part of a landscape entity, such as a forest grove or a clearing or even landscape at large. This change in ratio of the figure size versus the picture size dilutes and alleviates the "horror of the true believers" when they are faced with an undressed human figure. The viewer is also faced with two objects which demand his attention, the landscape itself and the nude in it. They can compete, but can also complement each other.
          In caves it sometimes happens that an interesting arbor, tunnel profile, a distinct stalagmite or a flowstone heap leads to a better composition with inclusion of the nude in the scene, and it all contributes to a good landscape nude.

6.6 Underwater Nudes


 
Underwater nude, the swimming pool of the Strinati house, Cologny, 1980s, by Pierre Strinati

          There is no more appropriate setting for a nude than at sea or a lake or a river. Sun bathing, swimming, diving make the most sense unclothed. In all the history, if told in art terms up to impressionism, people did it au naturel.
          Swimming on the surface of the water forces the person to move to stay afloat, while under the water it is possible to drift motionless for a while, sensing near weightlessness, free in the void, until the breath holds. Very elegant, totally relaxed body positions are possible, liberated of gravity.
          It is a genre demanding both on photographer and the model, but also most rewarding if people on both sides of the lens have patience and stamina. To hold one's breath for half a minute is no big deal, for a minute or longer it requires skill and practice. To have all the settings prepared in advance saves precious time. Several iterations are usually required, and warm water is a great bonus here. Everything also gets much easier if the water is not deep, say breast-deep and it is easy to push oneself off the floor to the surface. It also helps a lot if the model is able to have her or his eyes open while submerged.
          Props, such as veils, nets, ropes and the like, are, as with most nudes, best avoided. Under water they also pose a great safety hazard, to get entangled in some obstacle or not while the breath is short can be the difference between to be or not to be.
          In the above example the small size of the pool disabled the author to make a full-length, uncropped shot. But the positive attitude of the model, the sense of her weel-being in the wet element, her ease while being photographed, make this nude outstanding.
 

6.7 Fashion nudes



Nude with a purple cloak, 2013.

          Fashion nudes are nudes where an element of fashion, such as jewelery, cosmetics or other accessory is added. An element that gives additional emphasis to the human body, is in harmony with it, and is presented to advantage in such a setting.
 

6.8 Abstract Nudes

are not particularly common. Well known work from the early twentieth century, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912) by Marcel Duchamp was already published here, the delicate Blue Nudes series of four lithographs by Henri Matisse from the early fifties of the past century is disarmingly beautiful in their simplicity, is bordering abstract art, while one of the final works by Auguste Herbin, Nude, painted in 1960, is also predominantly in blue, composed only of rectangles, triangles and circles. Elegant as it is, nevertheless leaves a rather sombre impression with its mostly dark elements sinking in the black background.
 



Elena Prenner: Her patience No. 1, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 101 cm, 2023.

The above more recent work in this genre, by the Estonian/Australian artist Elena Prenner, of more fluid composition and gently vibrant colors, as was the case with Duchamp and Herbin, could be a herald that all is not lost, that better times are hiding behind the horizon.
 

6.9 Painted Nudes / Nude Body Painting

          Besides the more acceptable approaches such as implied and landscape nudes in recent years painted nudes or nude body painting are also increasingly popular. As with nudes it is possible to distinguish real painted nudes and, often, painted semi-nudes, where the paint is applied over the underwear. Special food colors are used which are, as opposed to usual painting colors, not toxic and skin irritant, can be washed away reasonably fast.
 



Female Nude Painted with Australian Flag, 2005.

A good example, of artistic merit, is the above body painting with the motif of the world's only island continent. It is to the advantage of both the model and the painting theme.
          This particular art genre also presents a major opportunity for showing oneself nude in public, alone or with friends, not on a beach at sea but in urban environment, yet again in an acceptable manner. It is during the display of nude body painting at the annual parade events which usually take place in the summer and include cyclists. An example is the Fremont Solstice Parade in Fremont, state of Washigton, USA.
 



Body painting at the Fremont Solstice Parade, 2013.

 

          The subject of nude has virtually limitless usefulness, it offerts a variety of possibilities for artistic expression, even in connection with quite distant topics.
          The example below is from the project "Geekography" (nude portrayals of computer technology), by Eksej Panteleev, a Russian photographer and computer game developer. The connection (especially of the original version on Wikimedia Commons, obtained by a click on the photo) to the first artwork in this direction, L'origine du monde by Gustave Courbet from 1866 is immediately noticeable. Yet it has an undeniable 21st century's twist.
 



Additive color mixing, Eksej Panteleev, 2021

          One of the elder members of DZRJL, Marko Modic, also has certain experience in this field. Back in 1981 at Levernaka island in the Kornati archipelago he painted his beloved, undressed, with just one color, vivid green, over the entire body save the face. She stepped into the calm sea, up to her knees, he added two or three green apples (Granny Smith variety) in front of her and made a photo, good enough to be published, full page, in one of the prestigious magazines. Her name was Alenka, she loved him very much, for over two years.
          Painted nude, with images of various fruit, was the subject of Fructal, a Slovenian fruit juice company, calendar. It was just one picture, poster sized, for all the months, on cardboard. The year I do not remember, on internet it was not to be found, but I remember that the calendar was, in many shops and other places, kept on the wall years after it has lost its calendar role.

6.10 Animal Nudes

Animals are nude per se, clothing is a purely human invention. Yet there are animals which, with the overall impression, by the body colour and body shape curvatures, very much resemble nudes as are being discussed here, and also have the underground component.
 



Arne Hodalič: Olm in the cave of Divje jezero, at the end of 1990s.

A perfect example is the biggest European troglobite, Proteus anguinus, here shown in probably the best depiction, in one of the most mysterious and challenging submerged venues.

6.11 Combinations



Edward Poynter: Cave of the Storm Nymphs, 1903.

          In the depiction of nudes, as could be seen very well at the housewife charity calendar, the authors use a combination of several approaches to bring the viewer thirsty across the water. Most often it is an implied nude, placed at a distance as a landscape nude. The above painting is a good example - there is a near landscape, cave entrance, three figures in the role of implied nudes, strategically positioned so that the viewer can admire all the beautiful transitions of hues from light to dark on tanned bodies, but nothing more. The splendor and opulence of the motif is highlighted by the sinking boat in the background, as well as its treasures which the three nymphs have discovered in the cave - coins are flying in the air, gold trickles from the chest at right.

7. Cave Nudes

          Caves are a rather special part of human environment, not really common and so have a weaker echo in the art as other natural milieus such as mountains, the sea or scenes from everyday life.

7.1 Pre-Modern Times

Caves are mysterious, picturesque and the supposed connection to the world beyond (entrance to Hades), so the artists did not completely neglect them.



Franz Kurz zum Thurn und Goldenstein: Tkalca jama cave in Rakov Škocjan, Slovenia, middle of the 19th century.

          With a little imagination the first cave nude, a landscape group nude to be precise, could be attributed to John Wyatt Valvasor in his epochal monograph from 1689. It depicts a scene from the Rov starih podpisov / The Tunnel of Old Inscriptions in Postojnska jama cave. The flowstone concretions, stalagmites and stalactites were of similar color and transparency as the human skin and so the shift to this metaphor was easy to come by.



Janez Vajkard Valvasor, Postojnska jama cave (From The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, 1689).

          17th century was certainly the time when underground spaces were generally believed to be the Satan's residence, even DZRJL members of hundred years ago had to face such superstition, and this belief certainly influenced Valvasor's engraving. If the bodies are more or less human the heads are devilish, as if the masters Fellini and Kubrick (Eyes Wide Shut) would cut their fantasies completely loose.
 



Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: Oedipus and the Sphinx, 1808.

          Classical painting of the golden age, the 19th century, does not offer many cave motifs and even less cave nudes, but here and there an example can be found. Cave environment was always somehow mystical, it adds tension and splendor, as is the case with the above painting by Ingres.

7.2 Contemporary Art

          As opposed to standard nudes, which abound nowadays, good cave nudes are still hard to come by. Search of the word expression cave nudes on the the principal Internet search engine returns (as of early 2022) around 35 million hits, the vast majority of which is useless, to put it mildly, if not downright repellent. The same expression in quotation marks "cave nudes" (with quotation marks) gives about 35.000 hits, better, yet the noise is still prevalent, as testified by selecting Images only. It takes a lot of time to separate the grain from the weeds.
          Yet, during the research for this article some other resources came to light and the most notable was the work of the Swiss author Pierre Strinati. He is most known for his work in biospeleology (cave biology). Cave fauna was his greatest passion, he took every opportunity to pursue it. He obtained a PhD in 1965 with a thesis titled Faune cavernicole de la Suisse (Cave fauna of Switzerland), and in 1977 he, together with a colleague Villy Aellen, embarked on a round-the-world biospeleology voyage, first of the kind. In one month they managed to visit 15 venues with 23 caves in United States, Tahiti, Fiji Islands, New Caledonia, Australia and Philippines.
 



Pierre Strinati: Nude in a passage of the Saint-Martin cave, 1980

          In the late seventies an opportunity opened up for Strinati to devote some of his caving time to exploration of the other aspect of his beloved milieu, the synergy of its shapes and the human form. In 1978, the Spéléo Club de Paris (SCP) decided to dedicate the symbolic number 69 of its journal Grottes et Gouffres (Caves and Chasms) to less known aspects of speleology such as psychology, mythology and natural eroticism. Claude Chabert, a noted member of SCP was familiar with the varied photographic work of Pierre Strinati and asked him to take a cave nude photo. It was published on the front cover of number 69 of Grottes et Gouffres. Pierre Strinati noticed the strong interest in this photographic genre and made more cave nudes, for exhibitions and publication. The first was a book, Clair de roche (Light of the rock) in 1981, with Serge Nazarieff, who contributed underwater motifs, following the wish of the publisher Bernard Letu. It was sold out quickly and so were the reprints and new editions, the latest being Cave girls in 2013.
          The above photo is from the first edition, and can justly be described as an excellent cave nude example: beautiful, a good balance between human figure and nature, matched composition, simply perfect.

          Several art photographers from the post-2000 time also tackled the topic of cave nudes. A good example is Ryan McGinley with his first solo exhibition Moonmilk in the London gallery Alison Jacques in 2009; it attracted a lot of attention. Works exhibited were mostly landscape cave nudes, often with colored light sources. They are interesting, but still feel somewhat distant. In the lot there is a nice semi-nude in orange (India), while Jonas and Marcel Blue Altar feels sad, as if they were about to start crying. It is really difficult to withstand this cold and wetness without proper clothing.
          Paul Veron, also coming from the British Isles, with Europe-wide exhibitions, is an art photographer known for his Nudes in Nature series where the body form, often in athletic postures, is depicted in synergy with landscape motifs such as water, forest and sand. It includes a cave entrance photo with two nudes in dancing solo positions, titled Mountain Cave Nudes.
 

7.3 Nude Cave Calendars

          Besides the cave nude photo site of Richard Forster, mentioned in the introduction, recent time also brought several calendars with scenes of cave and body beauty.
          In 2007 Jamarsko društvo Železničar / Railway Caving Club Ljubljana published a 2008 calendar with motifs from seven Slovenian caves. Peter Gedei, a renowned Slovenian cave photographer, shot the 12 published photos in half a year. Unfortunately he removed all related pictorial material from the web and so all that is left are two cropped calendar pictures, published on the website 24ur.com, very likely without his consent. An article titled For Eros on the Walls / Where Have all the Original Calendars Gone? was written by a nude-and-porn expert Max Modic. He is known as the director of the third Slovenian high-budget hardcore movie Gremo mi po svojo / Let's Go Get Our Own (Pussy) in 2012. Max Modic lived to his reputation and two charming, very non-hardcore Gedei's photographs are accompanied in the article by two naive-art porn paintings from the 2004 "Planting Calendar" by Tatjana Plahuta.
          While shooting the calendar pictures Gedei certainly did not have a free rein, all the models, half male, half female, were his buddies from the caving club. To make the idea at all viable he had to limit himself to implied landscape nudes. The concept was set in advance and could not be changed during the implementation.



Peter Gedei: A scene from Mitjina jama cave, 2007.

          The picture is a partially cropped photo from the calendar. It is a good example, very much in style with other photos. Cave motif is carefully selected and elaborately illuminated. Without the just mentioned limits it could be a very handsome cave nude, now it is, to a great extent, being rescued by the smile of the model.
          She is not of a slim build, but nevertheless a beautiful woman. In contrast to skinny models, where the look of the consequences of prolonged starvation really hurts, she is just enough opulent and it adds a special charm to the picture. Unfortunately the nude had to be implied and so Gedei covered the confluence of all views with the thigh of the other leg. This body part is but heavy and shows the model, to put it mildly, in much less flattering light than would be the case of a straight nude. Similar can be said for both aesthetically most pleasing parts of the body, her are beautifully shaped but here we can only admire one, the other is hidden by the braid. About the (un)suitability of the helmet a few lines are written in the next chapter, but we have to praise Gedei for omitting the rubber boots. Maybe he did it to protect the delicate flowstone in the picture, more likely it was done because boots would definitely ruin this nude. Other photos are practically all with boots, including the second Gedei's nude published on the site 24ur.com (it is actually a small part, 10 % or so, of a very handsome cave landscape). Female legs are beautiful and the longer the better. Boots take away a quarter of the legs or even more and are of a great disadvantage to the nude.
          To draw a line below the above observations - regarding the restrictions he faced Gedei did a great work. Calendar, aimed at the strengthening of the club's finances, was sold out. The author could only keep a few copies. So the decision was made in 2014 by his grotto, JKŽ, to make another nude calendar in the near future. It would be in the same, well proven style. Gedei is not afraid of the cold, all shots are first made with a dressed model, quick undressing follows, the final shot is made, and an immediate re-dressing of the model follows.

          English cave nude calendar for 2013 was shot by Laura Brown, helped by two members of the Westminster Speleological Group. It was half a year of work in 2012, on location in several English and French caves. The size is A3, the price 10 pounds plus postage, all profits went to South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team and Yorkshire's Cave Rescue Organization, the calendar is sold out. Photos are mostly even more of landscape art if compared to Gedei's calendar, but it is not always a disadvantage. Especially the last picture in the above linked report of Daily Mail, in green, is just splendid, really Tarzan-like, the figures at the side are just for the decoration and measure. The calendar was very well received and it shows that such works could be regarded as commonplace, and were not considered problematic any more.

          Two more cave nude calendars followed in the year 2018. Both were unique in their own way, both another step forward in the depiction of this delicate but rewarding subject.
          JKŽ, Railway Caving Club Ljubljana calendar for 2018 was also shot by Peter Gedei, who in the meantime, aided by extremely well tuned team of colleagues from the club, perfected the technique of getting the illumination of calcite cave formations and wall relief just right, with balanced amount of light and dark, avoiding overexposing of whites and using patches of darkness only for enhancing the contrast.



Peter Gedei: title photo from the 2018 Cave Calendar, taken in Jazbina v Rovnjah cave, 2017.

It is this sheer richness and filigree feeling of his cave drapery depiction, combined with tasteful inclusion of implied nudes in the underground landscape, which makes Gedei's photographs very difficult to match. He could draw from the past experience (2008 calendar) as well as from his familiarity with Slovenian caves which made the task of location scouting more of a pleasure than a burden. It all gave him confidence that his work does need to be shy of comparison and so all 13 photos from the calendar can be viewed on his site, in full screen size. Besides the title photo, shown above, the most appealing, at least to the writer of these lines, is the October picture, from Brgevčeva jama cave.

          Quite far from the classical karst, in the New World, as it was baptized soon after its discovery, around 2015 Bennett Lee, a renowned cave photographer from Texas, broke up with the tradition of typical fund raising cave calendars such as the Texas Women, Texas Caves Calendar in 2003, 2005, 2010, 2018 and 2022. If the emphasis there was more on the body, Bennett Lee decided to put the cave beauty back in the spotlight. He scouted locations in his favorite Texas caves, gathered a team of models, cavers and friends and in a few years brought his vision to life with the Texas Cavers Calendar 2018.
          The Calendar Back Cover shows all the 12 photos. If compared to previous achievements in this area it is immediately clear that Bennett Lee's calendar is a great work, a bold statement, not only in line with his desire to emphasize cave beauty but also in consonance with modern trends as both genders are represented on equal terms. Photos are elaborately framed and illuminated, and if one would have to choose from February and December picture are of special merit, the former because of excellent balance between the cave and the models, and the latter for very innovative approach, while the June image could be described as the most enigmatic.

8. Own Experience

          It would probably be very difficult to find a keen photographer, prepared to delve a little deeper into the subject, who would not, sooner or later, think of nudes. This statement is valid especially for the members of one of the two genders.
          I vividly remember the photo, taken by Anton Pečan, father of an acquaintance Lučka (pron. Loochka) Uršič, more known in sailing circles, but a good friend of DZRJL member Arne Hodalič, a distinguished photographer and author of the best pictures of the Slovenian national animal, the cave olm or Proteus anguinus. Pečan's picture was taken at the pebble beach of the Sava river, the model was his beloved, later also Lučka's mother, in thick woolen bathing suit, such as was common at the time, in the years before World War II. In the picture, which would of course be much better as a nude, all the photographer's affection to the model is clearly felt and it is also evident how much she enjoyed his attention. But as it even now happens to most of those behind the viewfinder, Anton was afraid to ask her for a nude. His question and her eventual refusal would inevitably spoil the magic of the riverbank moments. Times were, however, in many ways much tighter than they are now and so the model just could not be undressed.



Anton Pečan: Roža (Rose), my girl, Sava river beach, August 1931.

          In 1953 the first issue of Playboy magazine was published, with dressed Marilyn Monroe on the cover and a few of her (implied) nudes inside. It paved the way to real nudes, and the way was not short. 18 years later, in the January 1971 issue, a report on Liv Lindeland from the country of fjords was published, including her nude centerfold. It was sort of shy but still more real nude than something else. Wider availability of Internet after 2000 brought general accessibility of nudes, but otherwise the times have not changed, the subject is delicate as ever. Fear of consequences is still very much alive, as it was in 1797 when Francisco Goya painted the The Nude Maja and lost his job. The only difference now is just that the fear of consequences has shifted from the photographer to the (unprofessional) model. There are certain factors that are more aggravating than others, for instance if the model works in public administration or if the parents are strongly religious. Sometimes even relatively innocent scenes are too much. During the shooting of the feature caving movie White Pussy Cat Cave in 2005 on location in Mačkovica cave, the shooting script included a scene which proved problematic. The path through undiscovered parts of the cave brings the cast of four cavers, three boys and a girl, unexpectedly on an old trail, quite close to the entrance. Everybody is happy and the girl, Metka, should spontaneously, out of joy, embrace Janko, one of the boys, and kiss him, just on his cheek. And the scene had to be removed because Metka was afraid of the reaction of her boyfriend. The destiny however has its own paths, often ironic, and so the boyfriend left Metka long before the movie was finished. Not because of it. Just that Metka could not know this at the time ...
          To make the long story short, the writer of these lines had limited experience with nudes many years ago, in accordance with facts from the previous paragraph and with modest opportunities. After 2000 the era of digital photography came in full swing, with all the benefits it brought to cave photography where traditional photography was usually just guesswork, and it coincided with the author's conclusion that the life is not infinite and that such wonderful opportunity is not to be missed. After a longer time of only occasional cave photography he again devoted most of his free time to this difficult but rewarding field. It resulted in several cave photo exhibitions, often with pictures where models were dressed in unconventional caving suits.



Primož Jakopin: Scene from the Svetišče / Temple in Putikova dvorana / Putick's Hall of Najdena jama Cave, May 2004.

          A little earlier, also in 2004, came an opportunity to make the first cave nude. The author was well aware that the chances to publish any such work are, for the reasons of protecting both the model and himself, next to impossible yet the desire to open the new horizons was simply too big to bend and give up.



Primož Jakopin: Nude. Solarized photograph, Jezerina cave, December 2005.

          If nothing else the experience has been accumulating slowly. That the implied nude detour makes little sense was clear right at the beginning. The first photo also showed that the helmet and light on the head of the model do the motif more harm than good. Which is even more valid for the boots. Michelangelo's saying, once already written here: What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed? are not just empty words. There must be special circumstances present to justify the use of footwear. In a few months it was also evident that landscape nudes are rarely successful, most often in unusual conditions such as is an extraordinary, picturesque cave profile which complements the nude well. Several problems, connected to cave nude photography, also came to light.
          The worst problem is the cold, and it is a very serious one. The approach, used at the 2008 Railway caving club calendar: a dressed rehearsing shot, followed by a quick undressed shot, and back to the caving suit, is not always appropriate. It turns out that the ideal illumination, the right combination of light and dark which shows the model in a most flattering manner, requires some testing. Planned few seconds quickly evolve into not just a few minutes, time runs as mad, and the cold is ruthless. Insulated bottle with hot tea can help, so do a lighted gas cooker on the floor and the rubber hot water bottle. But at best it is to work in caves in the vicinity of a warm sea, in Dalmatia for instance, where the temperature is, like everywhere else in caves, equal to the annual outside average. In the Mediterranean caves this average is 18 degrees Celsius, in tropical caves several degrees more, in Slovenian lowland caves from 8 to 10 degrees C, in alpine caves just above zero, at about 2 degrees C.
          Another problem is the cave pollution. In a very attractive Podpeška jama cave (easy access) the lower levels of the cave are contaminated with the village sewage. The bad odor is barely noticeable, but people (especially the model) have a good chance of later health problems because of air-transmitted infectious germs.
          Some problems were caused by the lack of team. For a good illumination three flashes (on tripods) are usually required, one from one direction, second from the other side, to soften the shadows, one from behind, for the highlights, and often the fourth flash on camera, to trigger the other three. The first shot shows that one (or more) flash has to be moved, or its setting changed. What all takes time, and time in the cold knows no mercy. The photographer is forced to work in a hurry. But hurrying is a godfather of carelessness, one is very likely to stumble on the uneven cave floor, to kick some tripod leg and if the photographer ends up unhurt, at least some flash will get broken.
          A lot also depends on the model. Even the slight discontent on the face can turn the picture from a top and delightfully beautiful into a useless one. Here is also the place to mention a factor that some will discard as unimportant, but is not. In the case that all the basic prerequisites for a good nude are met, certain features of the model are also important. Besides the face and its eyes, the mirror of the soul, the convergence point of all the picture views and its haircut are not to be underestimated.

           

Different mustache types, dated 2017, 1979, 1938 and 2010.

In the above set four of the standard mustache styles are shown, from clean shaven to natural, they are also common in the pubic hair trimming. It is not difficult to guess which is the most appropriate for the cave nudes.
          Another issue which depends on the time of the year's four seasons and which is due to partially dressed sun bathing, are the tan lines.



Three girls at the beach, 2011.

In the winter they are (almost) gone, if the model did not decide to break the winter by some vacation in the tropics, but at the end of the summer and in the autumn tan lines can be quite annoying, they remind one of painted nudes. These lines can be masked by instant fake tanning creams, which but only last a few days.

9. Conclusion

          In the paper the trail winded through the picturesque and rich landscape of this evergreen topic. Nudes are a very grateful motive, in the field of art they reach quite at the heart of beauty depiction, comparable to the meaning of life problem in philosophy. On the other hand the topic is utterly delicate. Human eye is a very accurate and merciless judge, and if it can observe the light of a candle in the dark at a distance of 20 kilometers, it is also capable to quickly determine if the nude is on the correct side of the line that separates an artistic experience from attempts at erotic depiction on the calendar pages in the car repair workshops. The line is very thin, and as with poetry, where it takes the perfect harmony of contents and form to get a Shakespeare, cave nudes immensely benefit to cave nude if the scene makes sense. As had been the case with Apelles and his Aphrodite, a good cave nude is most easily achieved in a water setting, preferably in a sea cave.
          And how to present all the beauty and achievements, collected over time? Though there are many opponents to this opinion, the calendar still seems to be the best solution. Every photo is viewed for a month, and if a particular one happens to grow close to viewer's heart, it can remain on the wall after its month has expired.
          If some caving buddy with a talent for free hand stroke drawing could be located, the beauty of the photography could be replaced by the low-entropy elegance of an artistic image such as the nude Two Figures (A. Chubar, 2004). And if, eventually, a vector graphics talent joins the caving ranks, a cave nude calendar with compositions like Molly (author unknown, also 2004) would also be a very welcome enrichment of the calendar scene.
          The idea of the author of these lines, presented in June 2014 to the audience of his native grotto, DZRJL, to make a nude cave calendar for 2015, was put aside. The modalities around it, somehow turbid water took so long to clear up that the train left the station, it was too late to do it. Only a substitute calendar managed to jump on the last wagon - it depicts members of DZRJL, male and female, in full caving gear on various locations in Najdena jama cave.



Primož Jakopin: Nude in a cave window passage, pink and turquiose. Color composition, 2020, after a motif from 2006
(here depicted as a raster reproduction, 900 x 676 pixels).

          In 2020 an opportunity for a cave nude composition opened up, as an illustration for the portrait of a prominent Slovenian caver, a great explorer of high mountain karst mazes, who also attracted a lot of attention from the opposite gender.
          As revealed in this paper, nudes in general and cave nudes in particular continue to present a vast territory for creative expression, they are an open challenge to depict the beauty of the human body and of underground nature in a new, unprecedented way.




Page written and posted by Primož Jakopin; send inquiries and comments to primoz jakopin guest arnes si (insert dots and at sign as appropriate). Page first published in June 2014, first revision May 2015, second revision August 2017, updated June 2019, October 2020, third revision February, 2021, updated October 2021, February and March 2022, fourth revision June 2022. Last update: September 26, 2023.

URL: http://www.jakopin.net/papers/On_Cave_Nudes/index.php
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