This is a book for someone who sees Hercules and the Lion and thinks "look at how the artist is evoking the body's movement with the movement in the cloak" and not "I like the gold pubes!"
"The drift of all popular art is towards the lowest common denominator, and, on the whole, there are more women whose bodies look like a potato than like the Knidian Aphrodite."
On Sacred and Profane Love: "Titian has even broken the line of the arm by a cast of crimson drapery exactly where it would have been broken by time."
"(One of Courbet's nudes) was intended to provoke and succeeded imperially, for Napoleon III struck at her with his riding crop."
"The skin was to Rubens almost what the muscles had been to Michelangelo."
"Roots and bulbs, pulled up into the light, give us for a moment a feeling of shame. They are pale, defenceless, unself-supporting. They have the formless character of life which has been both protected and oppressed. In the darkness their slow, biological gropings have been contrary to the quick, resolute movements of free creatures, bird, fish or dancer, flashing through a transparent medium, and have made them baggy, scraggy and indeterminate. Looking at a group of naked figures in a Gothic painting or a miniature, we experience the same sensation. The bulb-like women and root-like men seem to have been dragged out of the protective darkness in which the human body had lain muffled for a thousand years."