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IntercarnationsExercises in Theological Possibility$
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Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276455

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276455.001.0001

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Nuda Veritas: Iconoclash and Incarnation

Nuda Veritas: Iconoclash and Incarnation

(p.47) Chapter 3 Nuda Veritas: Iconoclash and Incarnation

Catherine Keller

Fordham University Press

This chapter focuses on a major exhibition at the Leopold Museum in Vienna, subtitled “Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka and Other Scandals.” The exhibition includes Nuda Veritas, a painting by Gustav Klimt, featuring a naked female figure whose gilded gaze—citing in all irony the icons of Byzantium—is sophic, knowing, grounded in a shameless sexuality. To honor matter, iconoclasm is never enough. And such honor is what John of Damascus directed, against an imperial iconoclasm, to the incarnation, “the matter which works my salvation.” From the Renaissance on, formalized conventions of nudity had overcome the modestly clad figures of medieval art—but ever in the service of allegory. Now emerges this painterly revelation, referred to as realism, that revels in the truth of the flesh itself. The chapter also considers another exhibition, Bruno Latour's Iconoclash.

Keywords:   exhibition, Nuda Veritas, Gustav Klimt, gaze, iconoclasm, nudity, allegory, Bruno Latour, Iconoclash, incarnation

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