Oil on canvas, 47 in x 65 in. Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi. Wikimedia Commons Pictures of nude women confront us in art museums, advertisements, movies—seemingly everywhere. Renaissance artist Titian, for example, played a major role in popularizing a type of female nude that has become familiar to us, the centerfold. A woman is shown naked, with soft, almost boneless, flesh, splayed out across the front of the picture plane, luxurious tresses contrasting with a complete lack of body hair.
Confronting Power and Violence in the Renaissance Nude
How Burt Reynolds Became Cosmo’s First Male Centerfold
But when Brown appeared on the Johnny Carson show with year-old actor Burt Reynolds, she asked during a commercial break if he wanted to pose nude for the magazine and he said yes. In his memoir, But Enough About Me, Reynolds says he drank a quart of vodka on the way to the studio where fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo posed him on a bearskin rug, naked, with his hand and arm strategically placed over his genitals. The publicity machine cranked into action, and it was assumed that a male centerfold would be a win for feminism. The April issue of Cosmopolitan, its cover bearing a bright orange banner announcing the presence of the centerfold inside, hit newsstands in March, its regular price of 75 cents temporarily jacked up to one dollar. It was an immediate sensation.