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Life Class: Today's Nude

Episode Guides

Artist Alan Kane breaks with the conventions of fine art by bringing the live nude model to daytime television. Watch and learn, or get involved yourself...

About the Show

Artist Alan Kane breaks with the conventions of fine art by bringing the live nude model to daytime television. Watch and learn, or get involved yourself...

Series 1 Summary

For centuries, artists have taken inspiration from the naked body. From Leonardo da Vinci to Lucian Freud, life drawing has always been a way to understand the human form and ourselves.

This week-long series gives viewers an opportunity to learn to draw through five half-hour nude life drawing classes, one a day, with access to a renowned artist tutor in each.

The audience is invited to pick up a pencil and use the class to develop their skill or interest in drawing at any level.

  • Model Matthew Oghene's chest

    Episode 1 - Maggi Hambling

    Today's session is guided by distinguished painter, sculptor and printmaker Maggi Hambling, whose work is widely represented in several public collections.

    Despite her wide range of subject matter, Hambling is commonly known for her portraits, which are expressionistic in nature and executed in bold oil and watercolours. Filmed at Hambling's bright, airy studio in Clapham, where she lives and works, her class features highly sought-after male life model Matthew Oghene.

    Viewers have the opportunity to draw a nude model with the guidance of Maggi Hambling.

  • Humphrey Ocean

    Episode 2 - Humphrey Ocean

    Today's tutor is portrait artist Humphrey Ocean. Among his previous subjects are such famous faces as Paul McCartney, Phillip Larkin, Tony Benn and William Whitelaw. Ocean had his first major solo exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery in 1984, and his work has since been shown in several leading museums, including exhibitions at the Tate Liverpool and Whitechapel Art Gallery.

    For his session, Ocean follows in the footsteps of artists past and present tutoring in the historic Life Room of London's Royal Academy of Arts. Female model Tinka Ziff is his subject.

  • Gary Hume

    Episode 3 - Gary Hume

    Gary Hume, a graduate of Goldsmiths renowned for his paintings of simplified forms, was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996 and represented Britain at the 1999 Venice Biennale. He was made a Royal Academician in 2001. His subject is fashion model Kirsten Varley, who had never sat for a life drawing before this visit to Gary's London studio.

  • Close-up of artists' model Ken Fahey

    Episode 4 - Judy Purbeck

    Judy Purbeck has been teaching life drawing for nearly ten years, and her own art focuses on drawn portraits and clothed figure drawing. Her Life Class is of professional artists' model Ken Fahey, and takes place in Haringey Council's Hornsey Library, Crouch End, where Judy runs weekly classes.

  • Close-up of dancer Maria Muñoz

    Episode 5 - John Berger

    Widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, John Berger began his career as a painter, having studied at Chelsea and London schools of art. It was during his career teaching drawing that Berger established himself as an art critic.

    Berger's model is his good friend the danger and choreographer Maria Muñoz, who he draws for Life Class in the Compagnie Philippe Genty dance studio in Paris.

Life Class: Today's Nude synopsis

Artist Alan Kane breaks with the conventions of fine art by bringing the live nude model to daytime television. Watch and learn, or get involved yourself...

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