Olympia, by Édouard Manet.⁠ 🎨 A landmark of painting

Olympia, by Édouard Manet.⁠ 🎨 A landmark of painting

7/17/2021, 7:09:09 PM
Olympia, by Édouard Manet.⁠ 🎨 A landmark of painting history depicting the Parisian prostitute Olympia confidently reclining on a bed, wearing nothing but the black ribbon tied to her neck that signals her profession. At the foot of the bed is a black cat, while a negro servant is shown bringing her a bouquet of flowers. Olympia was modelled on Victorine Meurent, one of Manet's favourite models, who also appears as the nude woman in Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe, while the negress was modelled on a girl called Laure. But the most arresting feature of the painting - the thing that defines it as a revolutionary work of art - is the wholly modern context. Because Olympia is no classical goddess but a 19th century Parisian prostitute, posing as mocking in some way all precedent art. The work was submitted to the 1865 Salon and amazingly, despite its shocking content, was accepted. Perhaps the Academy jury feared another Salon des Refuses if it was rejected. ⁠ 👨‍🎨 Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883) is regarded by many as the father of modern painting, and one of my personal favourites. His themes are not people or landscapes anymore, but life itself as it happens before the artist’s eyes, free of the artistic constructs of past eras such as genre. Born to a wealthy Parisian family, he was a gifted child, but he was set to pursue a military career, a destiny much more suited to his social class than drawing and painting. Thank God the Naval College rejected him! Inspired by Velazquez and other old masters during his days wandering the Louvre, he soon learned a thing or two about modern painting. Recognized in the history of art for his ground-breaking themes (ofter portraying sitter such as prostitutes and drinkers) and free style with patches of colour, he is much more deliberate than the Iimpressionists, from whom he selectively engaged. He was of contradictory temperament and thin-skinned to criticism, observing the world from a distant dandy attitude.⁠ 📐Height: 130 cm (51 in). Width: 190 cm (74.80 in). Oil on canvas, 1863.⁠ 🏛 Musée d’Orsay, Paris.⁠ @museeorsay What do you think about this? ⁠ Share and follow @monteroneart for a daily 🎨!

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