The human form has long been considered the most serious and challenging subject the artist could master. The figure is both universal and individual- particularly suited to convey deep ideas about the human condition. This is, in part, why drawing from a nude model has been the bedrock of art education for centuries. It is difficult to make an accurate painting from life, yet a work of art must be more than an accurate recording to be successful.
Technical mastery of figure painting is extremely hard and yet that is the minimum requirement. A truly great figure painting feels alive; considerably more than the sum of its parts.