Manet's Portrait Of Olympia Essay

520 words - 2 pages

This is a 2 page essay explaining Manet's "Olympia" in terms of its reception during its era. The comparison to Baudelaire's "The Painter of a Modern Life" and how they are equated are covered. It relies on 2 sources presented in MLA format.Manet's Portrait of "Olympia"Edouard Manet was truly a pioneer of contemporary art. His controversialpainting of a woman he called Olympia-an unclad prostitute-made history in both apositive and negative manner. "Olympia" was unlike any paintings of nude females thathad come before her. She was not portrayed as delicate or ethereal. Also, she was notbathing or getting dressed as those were acceptable reasons for being naked. Thismodern woman was completely nude, in bed, bound for a sexual encounter.In 1865 "Olympia" was exhibited at the Salon. Outrage and scandal ensued overthe lack of modesty and propriety this piece of art displayed. Critics denounced the workbecause of what Manet tried to represent: A prostitute-or possibly mistress- ready to havesex. As if that were not scandalous enough, the look on Olympia's face was just asappalling. Women were supposed to be portrayed as demure and rarely stared directly atthe painting's viewer. She looks the viewer in the eye-while covering her private area-with a certain brazenness that was considered inappropriate.The Salon was known for having placid, more conventional artistry. Manetstrayed from that type of concept and paid dearly in the eyes of traditional art lovers.Although the public did not accept "Olympia" as being masterful at the time, iteventually grew into a classic piece of work. He is regarded as the father ofimpressionism and...

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