Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Olympia is a painting by Edouard Manet.  This painting was exhibited to the public in 1865, in the Paris Salon.  This medium for this painting is oil on canvas.  I chose this painting because as we talked about in class and as I have read, it was very controversial.  Yes, there is nudity in the painting, which the public was not too shocked about, it was her gaze directly at the public that drew shock. The model, Victorine Meurent, is depicted laying in a bed while her black maid brings her flowers, but to the middle and upper-class men they saw something different.  These men saw the subtle hints of a prostitute, with the flower in her hair, her bracelet, the pearl earrings she is wearing and the shawl she is laying on.  Also, the black ribbon around her neck, along with the slipper she is wearing that can be easily caste off, show that this is a sensual atmosphere.  In the 1860s, in Paris, the term "Olympia" was associated with prostitutes.  I like this painting because it was controversial in a time that everything was so clear cut.

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