Main content

New Generation Thinkers: Sculpture and Seduction in the 18th Century

Curator and art historian Danielle Thom of the Victoria and Albert Museum explores the relationship between classical sculpture and bawdy prints circulating in 18th-century London.

The 18th century was the age of politeness - and of bawdiness. Fine manners and fine art co-existed with earthy attitudes to sex and the body, even in the most elevated circles.

Curator and art historian Danielle Thom of the Victoria and Albert Museum explains why classical sculpture, the high point of 18th-century artistic taste, had a surprising influence on rude, lewd and erotic prints; and what this tells us about the surprisingly modern attitude to sexuality in the Georgian period.

The New Generation Thinkers are the winners of an annual scheme run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics at the start of their careers who can turn their research into fascinating broadcasts.

The Essay was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. If you want to hear Danielle Thom answer questions about her research you can download The Essay and conversation as an Arts and Ideas podcast.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Available now

15 minutes

Broadcast

Featured in...

The Arts & Ideas Podcast

The Arts & Ideas Podcast

You can download all the past episodes of Radio 3's Free Thinking

Click to listen to discussions, talks and music as the Free Thinking Festival 2019 Gets Emotional

Click to listen to discussions, talks and music as the Free Thinking Festival 2019 Gets Emotional

Angry politics, what we can’t say, being diplomatic, weeping, emotion in music, film & TV

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE programmes from the Free Thinking Festival 2018: The One & the Many

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE programmes from the Free Thinking Festival 2018: The One & the Many

We examine the fast-changing relationship between the individual & the crowd

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes, images, clips & features from 2017's festival

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes, images, clips & features from 2017's festival

Free Thinking Festival 2017: The Speed of Life