Monday, January 4

Olympia by Edouard Manet

At the post about Goya's Majas I said that there was a Manet to come and there she is: Olympia, 1863, depicting the courtesan Victorine.
These are the historical facts:
"Yet the greatest uproar was reserved for the painting in which Victorine’s sexuality is finally fully unleashed: Olympia (1863). Depicted as a prostitute, Victorine reclines queenlike on her bed, unabashedly confronting the viewer with her naked body. Olympiaappears to mock the barriers Manet previously erected against Victorine’s sexuality. Here, what little clothing Victorine wears - especially her slippers - merely serve to accentuate her nudity rather than covering it. The one real attempt at concealment is the hand that rests nonchalantly over Victorine’s genitals, and even this is less of a disguise than an emphasis upon them. It is now the model who seems in control, not the artist; she is a monster unleashed. The crowds at the Salon of 1865 reacted as if she was, at least: Empress Eugénie herself hit the painting with her umbrella as an expression of disgust, inspiring so many imitators that Olympia had to be re-hung higher on the wall, out of range (Siebert 159). Victorine’s body had burst its bonds, creating a scandal practically of its own accord. If the furor surrounding Déjeuner sur l’herbe could be attributed to the juxtaposition of men in modern dress with naked women, viewers’ strong reaction to Olympia is certainly all about Victorine. Olympia is her great victory."
I wonder what kind of nudity would cause reaction nowadays and I am sure that it can be done.


Mark p.s.2 said...

re"I wonder what kind of nudity..."
It depends where you live.
In the USA there was the nipple slip on a halftime show."Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake incident at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. Jackson's nipples briefly aired to millions."

If one is a young woman-girl, sending naked pictures of oneself is sex-texting or sexting.
Nude or naked, is it on purpose or is it accidental?

Ana said...

Hmmm... I'm not sure if in Janet Jackson story it was a accidental.
I don't remember witch actress also "accidentally" had her nipples seen because of her dress.
I will search for that.
That's funny searching for "celebrities' nipples showing".

Sandee said...

I don't see anything wrong with this painting at all. I think it's very well done. Just saying.

As for the celebs showing their stuff. What else is new? Janet Jackson's slip was very much on purpose.

Have a terrific day Ana. Big hug. :)

Ana said...

Olympia was a shock because it depicted a naked prostitute in a era where where nudity was only possible if it was a woman from mythology or related to a vary far age.
This is not the only scandal Manet created.
He has another oeuvre that depict a naked contemporary woman. I will post it.
Yes. Janet Jackson's slip was not a slip I suppose.
Still I will do the research just for fun and, who knows?, discover a paparazzo that made lot's of money showing a nipple.