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Olympia, 1863

 
 
 
 
 
Details     Description
   
Artist Manet, Édouard Manet exhibited this painting at the Salon of 1865, two years after he had painted it. The public, already shocked by the combination of nudity and full dress in Le déjeuner sur l'herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), considered this display of nakedness altogether scandalous. Here the white flesh of a prostitute is made more emphatic by contrast to a black string tie, a black servant, and a sleekly sensual black cat. Critics and public alike felt insulted by the flatness of these shapes, because they were used to carefully rounded forms, modelled according to the precepts of the Academy. Today we can understand the violence of the reaction if we reflect that modern art – in the sense of denial of photographic illusion and affirmation of paintings as colour apply to a flat surface – dates from this and similar works of Manet.

 

 
Date

1863

 
Institution Musée d'Orsay
   
Medium Oil on canvas
 
Dimensions  130.5 x 190 cm
 
 
 
 

 

 

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