This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers pre-modern or early modern artworks featuring nudity from beyond a European context. It examines other strategies adopted by art historians that enable them to read nudity in ways that impose an illusory respectability on it. The book deals with how their interest in nudes will be looked upon and interpreted. It acknowledges the erotic potential of many artistic nudes. The book argues that a woman's nakedness in art has often signalled her role as spectacle and her submissiveness. It analyzes works by George Dureau that index race, class, and disability. The book describes the contemporary artist Cassils notes the capacity of nude artworks to function as templates for self-imagining.