Madam Odalisque and Lady Olympia

Topics: History of painting, Neoclassicism, Western painting Pages: 3 (1168 words) Published: September 27, 2011
Madam Odalisque and Lady Olympia

Throughout history the subject of human body and nudity has always been a topic that artists have taken into consideration when painting, depending on the time period that they were living in and style that they were working in. By looking at the history of art through the 19th century, it is very clear that this subject was by far the most important and most consistent topic throughout this specific time period. Other subject matters such as still life, everyday life, landscapes, biblical and mythical stories and etc at some point were the most important subjects for artists to paint due to the political, social, economical and religious status of the city or country that they were living in. However as these topics changed, the human figure still remained an interesting subject for artists to draw and paint. Two of the most well known paintings that cover this subject matter are the nude figures Grande Odalisque by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and the Olympia by Edouard Manet. Although each of these paintings were painted in different styles and time periods, both were used by the artists to rebel against the classical art style.

Grande Odalisque painted in 1814 by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, is one of the first well known paintings that represent the Romanticism style. Romanticism was a style that was created due to the cultural idea of freedom. This ideal freedom was not only political, social and religious, but also included the freedom of thought, feelings, emotions and imagination. Romantics believed that everyone had a right of freedom and that the way to achieve it was by living on ones imagination, emotion and feelings rather than thinking. Since Neoclassicism was a style that was based on reasons, facts and knowledge, Romanticism was somewhat a rebel against Neoclassicism. Having studied art under the hand of a neoclassical master such as David, Ingres was a true neoclassical painter who at first did not...
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