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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.

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The Free Thinking Festival Essay : Sculpture and Seduction in the 18th Century

November 20th, 2015

Episode 1065 of 1219 episodes

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

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