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My question doesn't have to do with idol worship, but it does have to do with artwork.

Is it forbidden to paint or draw the nude figure with sexual organs showing, even if it is done in a non-pornographic manner? For instance, if I were to paint Adam and Chava in the garden before they ate of the Tree, would I still be required to place branches or leaves over certain areas of the body, even if the painting itself is innocent in nature?

Or another example would be if I were taking an art class, and a specific project is to paint/draw the nude figure. Is this forbidden?

I ask this because I am an artist with some ideas in mind for paintings... I also plan on going to art school in the near future, and I know nude study is required.
Johnzo Wrote:Is it forbidden to paint or draw the nude figure with sexual organs showing, even if it is done in a non-pornographic manner? For instance, if I were to paint Adam and Chava in the garden before they ate of the Tree, would I still be required to place branches or leaves over certain areas of the body, even if the painting itself is innocent in nature?

I submitted your questions to Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem, author of "The Divine Code."

He answered that there is nothing in the Noahide Code that outright forbids this (if it is not pornographic), but it is considered to be immoral, and therefore it is discouraged.

Johnzo Wrote:Or another example would be if I were taking an art class, and a specific project is to paint/draw the nude figure. Is this forbidden?

I ask this because I am an artist with some ideas in mind for paintings... I also plan on going to art school in the near future, and I know nude study is required.

This adds an additional dimension of immorality, if there is a person posing nude for the class, so it should certainly be discouraged. However, if you will be *required* to participate in this in order to fulfill the requirements for your art degree, you can do so for that purpose. Perhaps there might be some practical requirement for you to retain images of the nude artwork in your professional portfolio, but it would not be proper for you to put it on private or public display after the class is over (but you might consider going to the trouble to draw/paint clothes over the nude figures).
Thanks for your answers! With all this in mind, should I throw out certain art books I own that have such immoral imagery in them, along with some that have idolatrous tones (i.e., pictures of anatomically correct statues, pictures of xtian paintings, etc. etc.)? Or should I merely black out the pages with said images?
I personally recommend that the idolatrous and/or immoral pages can be carefully removed from the art books you wish to keep. A sharp-edged utility knife works well for this purpose.
Question: In some categories of children's books, magazines, etc., we find that the artist draws particular groups of people (by race, ethnicity, culture, etc.) with a particular negative appearance (overweight, or overly large noses, or scowls, etc.) Should this practice be discouraged and avoided?

An answer from the Rebbe on this issue was recently distributed from AnashChinuch.com in their email newsletter "Chinuch Horaah [Education Directive] of the Day":

"It is not advisable that people should be drawn in an intentionally nonrealistic manner - [for example] very fat, with an overly enlarged nose, and the like - although they [the people who draw comics] have become accustomed to doing so. In my opinion, this is a great educational mistake, for with regard to children, the more simple and normal, the better."

(Source: Response to "Moshiach Times" magazine, in Igeres Hachinuch, p. 278.)
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