The Symbolism of the Nude in Sacred Art


Is there a place for nudity in sacred art?

Professor David Clayton has written in the past about whether or not it is necessary for the artist to study the nude figure.

The discussion seems to come down to how the figure is portrayed, that is what degree of stylization should be applied to the nude human figure in sacred art.

But there is also a parallel discussion as to whether of not there should be any nudity at all in sacred art.

Philip Kosloski over at Aleteia gives a valuable and brief overview of the types of symbolism convened by the nude in sacred art.

I would love to hear your comments, this is a much discussed subject among sacred artists.


Pontifex University is an online university offering a Master’s Degree in Sacred Arts. For more information visit the website at

Lawrence Klimecki is a deacon for the diocese of Sacramento as well as a working artist, he writes on art and faith at 

If you'd wish to do so, please leave a reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s