Controversy surrounding Nudity in art is as strong now as it was during the nineteenth century. Selected Victorian paintings of the nude are still hidden from public view. In this major new work, Alison Smith unravels the fascinating background to this situation and reveals the paradox of the nude as an object of public moral outrage.Smith reveals how images of the nude were used at all levels of Victorian culture from high-art paintings, to photographs and popular entertainments, and questions whether these were a valid form of representation, or in fact, pornography. The nude was considered to be the most prestigious and pure form of art, whilst at the same time was vilified by the state because of its incitement to unregulated sexual activity. Includes discussion on the work of Lord Leighton, Burne-Jones, Rosetti, Millais, Watts, Waterhouse, Henrietta Rae and Anna Lea Merrit.