The Vitruvian Woman

Sarah Healy
Oct 2, 2014 7:23AM

We all depict and see the female body differently. Some may see beauty while others see flaws. Some may see delicate while others see a bit rough around the edges, and some may see thin while others see fat. The female body is a central point of contention throughout history and worldwide. The Vitruvian Woman is a group of art works that demonstrates a variety of historical and cultural perspectives about the female body through the eyes of many different artists, both male and female. The works represent a range from classical subjects to raw, contemporary depictions. Overall, this group of artworks suggests a variety of themes. The works greatly vary in color, scale, tonality, relations to the delicate, and also aspects of movement and placement of the figure. Today, we recall the ideal Renaissance body depicted through the contrapposto of a man, such as Michelangelo's David, or Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, yet there is no such thing as an ideal body...unless the viewer makes it so. I believe that every woman possesses an ideal body in some way or form. These images hope to re-train the brain to understand that the imperfect could actually be perfect. 

            These images are united by Swim/ROCI , 1990 by Robert Rauschenberg. Swim/ROCI is approximately 72 x 96 ¼ inches. This piece was part of Wax Fire Works series that was featured in Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange Exhibit. Swim/ ROCI features the statue of a female figure as well as the high contrast colors of orange and blue. Robert Rauschenberg’s artwork is the stepping-stone on the representation of the female body for this exhibition. The works of art that I have chosen range in size from the smallest photograph by Francesca Woodman, which is 8 ¼ x 8 ¼ to Robert Rauschenberg’s Swim/ROCI. The exhibition focuses the eye on the structure of a woman’s body rather than the surrounding area. I want my audience to get lost in these bodies. They are chaotic and simple, and lawless and harmonized. My ideal location would be the large spacious rooms of the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum. The centerpiece would be the largest by Robert Rauschenberg with the remaining works spread out in order to give each work as much space as possible in order to provide enough space to enjoy each image and to lose the self within the space itself.

Sarah Healy
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019