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《奥林匹亚》 Manet Olympia for Sale - Toperfect

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Manet Olympia
Olympia is a painting by Édouard Manet, first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon, which shows a nude white woman ("Olympia") lying on a bed being brought flowers by a black servant. Olympia was modelled by Victorine Meurent and Olympia's servant by the art model Laure. Olympia's confrontational gaze caused shock and astonishment when the painting was first exhibited because a number of details in the picture identified her as a prostitute. The French government acquired the painting in 1890 after a public subscription organized by Claude Monet. The painting is on display at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
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Olympia Manet
Olympia est le tableau le plus célèbre d'Édouard Manet, conservé au musée d'Orsay à Paris. Peinte en 1863, l'œuvre fut exposée pour la première fois (sous le numéro 1428) au Salon de 1865, qui se tint du 1er mai au 20 juin, au Palais de l'Industrie, sur les Champs-Élysées. Le tableau créa un scandale retentissant.
L'œuvre, qui va susciter un scandale encore plus important que le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, représente au premier plan une jeune femme nue, le pied gauche encore chaussé d'une mule, allongée sur un divan et un châle d'un cachemire blanc, dans un intérieur décoré de tentures vertes et de tapisseries.
Das 1863 entstandene Gemälde Olympia ist eines der Hauptwerke des französischen Malers Édouard Manet. Im Pariser Salon von 1865 löste das 130,5 × 190 cm große Bild einen der größten Skandale der Kunstgeschichte aus. Heute befindet sich das Gemälde in französischem Staatsbesitz und wird im Musée d’Orsay gezeigt.
《奥林匹亚》是法国写实派画家爱德华·马奈创作于1863年的一副油画。该画受乔尔乔内《沉睡的维纳斯》,提香的《乌尔比诺的维纳斯》及戈雅的《裸体的马哈》的影响。现藏于巴黎的奥塞美术馆当马奈展出这幅画اللوحات الفنية 以后受到大众的批判,因为大众认为这不仅仅是思想自由的问题,此作品描述女性裸体是非常带有侮辱性的表现。
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Manet Olympia

In 1865, Manet Olympia was shown for the first time to a large public audience with its first exhibition. Displayed at the famed Paris Salon, it featured a naked woman painting portraits lying in bed with her servant close by. Edouard Manet was known for his controversial figure with landscape paintings, and while he never pursued the controversy, this one was particularly troublesome. Edouard Manet Olympia was defined by the look that model Victorine Meurent gave off in the painting, along with the setting that she was in. Later on in history as the world changed and people noticed the servant in the background more, art model Laure became just as talked about as Victorine, but for different reasons. Like all oil paintings for sale of this caliber, its popularity was tied to the amount of conversations it sparked around the world. It’s an important part of French history as Monet Water Lilies and Liberty Leading the People, and one that remains one of the better works by Manet, with some very important messages attached to the images he painted. Every Manet Olympia analysis praises the painting in some way, even if it doesn’t fully agree with the message. And for any art collector, this is a recognizable piece from his long career as an artist.

Victorine Meurent

The undisputed star of Manet Olympia was Victorine Meurent. She was a model for some of the most famous painters in the world, with her beauty only being surpassed by her intelligence. Over time she went from being an accomplished model to a talented French painter. It was a natural transition for someone that had spent years posing in paintings, and she had an interesting run at it compared to the other models in history that turned to painting as a second career. Her strong will and determination is exactly what Manet was channeling for the painting, and it was seen in both the finished oil painting and her regular appearances at the Paris Salon. She was a regular, so when Olympia Manet was first exhibited, she was instantly recognized as the model in the painting. Meurent was the favorite model of Manet, but it could be argued that her second career as a painter was more fruitful to her place in history. In 1876 her work was included at the Salon juried exhibition, an honor that isn’t given lightly. To follow that up, Manet’s work was not selected, so she succeeded him in one area of note.

Laure

Not a lot is known about the black servant in the painting other than her name Laure. She was an art model of little renown, and went largely unnoticed in the painting. This is due to Manet skillfully making her more of an object in the painting rather than a figure to pay attention to like Meurent, salvador dali and pablo picasso. Manet Olympia 1863 was all about enhancing the background so that the model stands out, and Laure was a great inclusion to really bring out the confrontational look of Meurent in the painting. This wasn’t the first time a black servant captured some of the spotlight in a famous painting, and there had already been a few paintings featuring nude women with black servants in the background. Laure’s presence was made much more aware due to the context of the painting and the following controversy. Olympia Manet was never meant to focus on the servant as Las Meninas, yet the maid became a huge topic of discussion as scholars talked about the finer points of the painting. Lorrain O’Grady’s essay focused on Laure and the painting, and was titled Olympia’s Maid. Before the essay was even published, Manet’s most popular work had already crossed over the critical lines and become a hot topic.

What Inspired Olympia?

Created in 1863, Manet Olympia was a great idea from a painter that used his favorite model. There were a lot of similar paintings already out in that era, yet it took Olympia to break the mold a little. While the painting shocked the audiences it was introduced to for the first time, legendary artists like Claude Monet saw Manet’s vision and found it to be masterful as The Last Supper and The Scream. It was through Money’s lobbying that led to the French government getting control of the painting in 1890. Underneath it all, as much as Manet Olympia tried to be different, the mold breaking painting had a lot in common with the art it was trying not to imitate. Titian’s Venus of Urbino was the main inspiration of Olympia, and there were a few notable changes that were made when comparing Venus to the model in Olympia. Small alterations to background items and the pose put the Olympia model in a position of empowerment, even though she was naked in the current setting. But there was enough differences in Manet’s Olympia that it stood on its own as a masterpiece. By its association with Venus of Urbino, Olympia also has artistic similarities to Sleeping Venus by Giorgione. Anytime people compare Olympia with other artworks paintings, they are usually ones with Venus as the focus.

The Controversy With Olympia

Manet Olympia had a lot of detractors when it was released for the first time. This wasn’t associated with having a nude woman as the star in the painting, since that was nothing new for the era. It also didn’t have anything to do with the black servant in the painting. Small things here and there added to the controversy of Olympia, with some of the harshest critics being some of the biggest fans of Manet as of later henri matisse and marc chagall. It was mostly contemporary audiences that carried the most shock, since there was a lot of evidence pointing to the figure in the painting being a prostitute. Over the years, scholars have raised questions about the intent of her confrontational gaze. Small details in the painting pointed to wealth and sensuality, and combined with her gaze, led to a lot of talk about the meaning of the painting as works by norman rockwell and joan miro. Olympia was also popular in 1860’s Paris as a name for prostitutes, and the body in Olympia was considered much too thin by that era’s standards. Manet Olympia 1863 at the time showed off the body of a woman that many considered underdeveloped, at least when compared to her other model peers. Rather than a strong woman in a commanding position as Mona Lisa and The Birth of Venus, viewers would lose focus and concentrate too much on the small frame of Meurant, rather than the message she was trying to convey. Later on in the modern era, there was a lot of talk about Laure and her role as a servant in the painting. Although there are no known political beliefs embedded in the painting from Manet, that hasn’t stopped Manet Olympia from being explored consistently through its lifetime. As the times changed in the real world the painting has become an even more valuable part of history.

Olympia Versus Luncheon On The Grass

Manet was no stranger to critical reactions, as another nude painting from his career was the talk of the town even before Olympia stole the spotlight. The two paintings are often compared for their historical context rather than content since they were so close together in creation. Olympia was created in 1863 while Luncheon on the grass was 1862 or 1863. The latter painting received mixed reviews and was rejected by the Paris Salon, even though Manet Olympia gained its first exhibition at the same place. However the core similarities the two Manet paintings share is that they both depict prostitution and received a good share of criticism for doing so.

Manet Olympia Analysis

There are too many coincidences in the painting for a viewer to assume that Olympia Manet is not about prostitution. But the model in the painting was not being shown off as a simple woman, and is rather shown as being in control of her fortune, mind and body. Her sensual independence is marked by her willingness to lay comfortably naked in the open like Creation of Adam or Girl With A Pearl Earring, with her actual profession being downplayed in the same painting it is being exploited. This can be noted by some of the things that Manet changed in the final version of Olympia, which was inspired by Venus of Urbino. The woman in Manet Olympia does not entice, but rather lures as roy lichtenstein. Her nudity is an invitation yet also a restriction as she ignores her servant with the flowers. Some viewers have predicted that the flowers were a gift from a former client, which would fit into the narrative of her being a prostitute. Looking at the technical specifications of the painting, it is a lot different than the genre it was intended for. Olympia Manet is larger in size at 51.4x74.8 inches, which was usually a size reserved for mythological, historical or even religious paintings as Melting Clocks and Persistence Of Memory. To some that was even more of a shock than the choices made for the actual content of the work. Even though the thinness of the model is on full display, a Manet Olympia analysis should note that Meurent was already his model of choice before Olympia was ever created. The harsh lighting was done on purpose to emphasize her body, and Manet achieved the desired effect.

Edouard Manet Olympia

More Information about Manet Olympia


Content
What shocked contemporary audiences was not Olympia's nudity, nor the presence of her fully clothed maid, but her confrontational gaze and a number of details identifying her as a demi-mondaine or prostitute as toperfect reviews. These include the orchid in her hair, her bracelet, pearl earrings and the oriental shawl on which she lies, symbols of wealth and sensuality. The black ribbon around her neck, in stark contrast with her pale flesh, and her cast-off slipper underline the voluptuous atmosphere as works by later andy warhol and jack vettriano. "Olympia" was a name associated with prostitutes in 1860s Paris.
The painting is modelled after Titian's Venus of Urbino (1538). Whereas the left hand of Titian's Venus is curled and appears to entice, Manet Olympia's left hand appears to block, which has been interpreted as symbolic of her sexual independence from men and her role as a prostitute, granting or restricting access to her body in return for payment. Manet replaced the little dog (symbol of fidelity) in Titian's painting with a black cat, which traditionally symbolized prostitution like Primavera Botticelli. Olympia Manet disdainfully ignores the flowers presented to her by her servant, probably a gift from a client. Some have suggested that she is looking in the direction of the door, as her client barges in unannounced.
The painting deviates from the academic canon in its style, characterized by broad, quick brushstrokes, studio lighting that eliminates mid-tones, large color surfaces and shallow depth as Starry Night Van Gogh or Picasso Guernica. Unlike the smooth idealized nude of Alexandre Cabanel's La naissance de Vénus, also painted in 1863, Edouard Manet Olympia is a real woman whose nakedness is emphasized by the harsh lighting. The canvas alone is 51.4 x 74.8 inches, which is rather large for this genre-style painting. Most paintings that were this size depicted historical or mythological events, so the size of the work, among other factors, caused surprise. Finally, Manet Olympia 1863 is fairly thin by the artistic standards of the time in toperfect.com reviews & complaints and her relatively undeveloped body is more girlish than womanly. Charles Baudelaire thought thinness more indecent than fatness.
The model for Manet Olympia, Victorine Meurent, became an accomplished painter in her own right.

Precedents
In part, the painting was inspired by Titian's Venus of Urbino (c. 1538), which in turn refers to Giorgione's Sleeping Venus (c. 1510). Léonce Bénédite was the first art historian to explicitly acknowledge the similarity to the Venus of Urbino in 1897 unlike nude of rene magritte. There is also some similarity to Francisco Goya's La maja desnuda (c. 1800).
There were also pictorial precedents for a nude woman, attended by a black servant, such as Ingres' Odalisque with a Slave (1842), works of tamara de lempicka, Léon Benouville's Esther with Odalisque (1844) and Charles Jalabert's Odalisque (1842). Comparison is also made to Ingres' Grande Odalisque (1814). Unlike other artists, Manet did not depict a goddess or an odalisque but a high-class prostitute waiting for a client.

Critical reaction
Paul Cézanne A Modern Olympia (c. 1873/74)
Though Manet's The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) sparked controversy in 1863, his Olympia Manet stirred an even bigger uproar when it was first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon. Conservatives condemned the work as "immoral" and "vulgar." Journalist Antonin Proust later recalled, "If the canvas of the Edouard Manet Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration." The critics and the public condemned the work alike as Iris Van Gogh and The Kiss Klimt. Even Émile Zola was reduced to disingenuously commenting on the work's formal qualities rather than acknowledging the subject matter, "You wanted a nude, and you chose Manet Olympia 1863, the first that came along". He paid tribute to Manet's honesty, however, "When our artists give us Venuses, they correct nature, they lie. Édouard Manet asked himself why lie, why not tell the truth; he introduced us to Olympia, this fille of our time, whom you meet on the sidewalks."

Olympia's Maid
Although originally overlooked, the figure of the maid in the painting, modeled by a Black woman named Laure, has become a topic of discussion among contemporary scholars like subjects of Cafe Terrace at Night and Rembrandt Night Watch. As T. J. Clark recounts of a friend’s disbelief in the revised 1990 version of The Painting of Modern Life: “you’ve written about the white woman on the bed for fifty pages and more, and hardly mentioned the black woman alongside her.” Manet Olympia was created 15 years after slavery had been abolished from France, but stereotypes were not dismantled with the abolition. In some cases, the white prostitute in the painting is described using racist language that would otherwise be typically used to describe a Black figure unlike Van Gogh Self Portrait. “References to Blackness thus invaded the image of white Olympia Manet, turning her into the caricatural and grotesque animal that Black people are frequently made to represent in the nineteenth century”
Many critics have applauded Manet in his use of white and black in the painting, an alternative to the tradition of chiaroscuro. Charles Bernheimer has said:
“The black maid is not [...] simply a darkly colored counterpart to Edouard Manet Olympia's whiteness, but rather an emblem of the dark, threatening, anomalous sexuality lurking just under Olympia's hand. At least, this is the fantasy Manet's servant figure may well have aroused in the male spectator of 1865.”
However, Black feminists have rejected his reading and argue that it is not for artistic convention that Manet included Laure as edward hopper, diego rivera and frida kahlo, but rather to create an ideological binary between black and white, good and bad, clean and dirty and “inevitably reformulates the Cartesian perspectival logic that allows whiteness to function as the only subject of consideration.” When paired with a lighter skin tone, the Black model stands in as signifier to all of the racial stereotypes implemented by the white West.
The representation of Laure, the maid, and the lack of discourse surrounding her is the topic of Lorraine O’Grady’s "Olympia's Maid".

The Confrontational Gaze and The Oppositional Gaze
In Lorraine O' Grady's essay titled "Olympia's Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity", she asserts, "Olympia's maid, like all other 'peripheral Negroes'", is a robot conveniently made to disappear into the background drapery as Van Gogh Sunflowers and Impression Sunrise. While the confrontational gaze of Manet Olympia 1863 is often referenced as the pinnacle of defiance toward patriarchy, the oppositional gaze of Olympia's maid is completely ignored; she is part of the background with little to no attention given to the critical role of her presence.
O'Grady points out that we know she represents 'Jezebel and Mammy', "and best of all, she is not a real person...", rather she is object to the objectified and excluded from sexual difference according to Freudian theory. While Manet Olympia looks directly at the viewer, her maid, too, is looking back. In her essay "Mammy, Jezebel, Sapphire and Their Homegirls: Developing an Oppositional Gaze toward the Images of Black Women", Dogs Playing PokerCatherine West concludes that by claiming an oppositional gaze we can identify, criticize, resist and transform these and other oppressive images of Black women.

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L'œuvre, qui va susciter un scandale encore plus important que le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, représente au premier plan une jeune femme nue, le pied gauche encore chaussé d'une mule, allongée sur un divan et un châle d'un cachemire blanc, dans un intérieur décoré de tentures vertes et de tapisseries. Posée sur deux oreillers satinés, elle est accoudée sur son bras droit, la main gauche sur la naissance de ses jambes, le regard porté vers le spectateur.
C'est ce regard qui fait le scandale. Les nudités féminines classiques sont « surprises », comme l'Aphrodite anadyomène, elles ne se montrent pas volontairement nues. Le regard de la femme sur le spectateur dément cette convention.
Au second plan, derrière le lit, une femme noire lui présente à droite un bouquet de fleurs devant un fond vert et toperfect.com reviews; un chat noir se dresse sur l'extrémité droite du lit, la queue levée.
Olympia s'inspire de la Vénus d'Urbin du Titien, dont Manet avait exécuté une copie sur toile, une aquarelle, une sanguine et deux dessins 4, lors d'un voyage en Italie en 1853. La composition est identique, avec la division du fond en deux au milieu de la figure principale, et la figure secondaire à droite. Le modèle de l'Olympia adopte une pose identique à celle de la Vénus d'Urbin, et comme elle son regard fixe le spectateur, comme aussi La Maja nue de Francisco Goya. Manet a aussi remplacé le chien aux pieds de la jeune femme dans le tableau de la Vénus d’Urbin, associé, au temps du Titien, à la fois à la pulsion sexuelle et à la fidélité, par un chat noir à la queue relevée.

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Auf einem Bett ausgestreckt liegt eine nackte junge Frau mit rotbraunem, aufgestecktem Haar. Ihren Oberkörper hat sie auf der linken Bildseite halb aufgerichtet gegen einige weiße Kissen gelehnt; dabei stützt sie ihr rechter Arm. Die linke Hand verdeckt ihren Schoß, indem sie auf dem rechten Oberschenkel liegt. In dieser Haltung, mit erhobenem Haupt, wendet die junge Frau nicht nur ihren Oberkörper, sondern auch ihr Gesicht offen dem Betrachter zu, einem Porträt ähnlich. Ihr Gesäß und die übereinander geschlagenen Beine ruhen auf einem cremefarbenen, am Rand aufwendig mit Blüten und goldfarbenen Fransen verzierten Tuch, das einen Teil des weißen Bettzeuges bedeckt. Eine Ecke dieses Tuches erfasst sie mit der rechten Hand. Seitlich unter dem Bettzeug ist die dunkelrote Polsterung des Bettes zu erkennen. Die junge Frau trägt lediglich einige Accessoires an ihrem Körper: Ihr Haar wird von einer großen, rosafarbenen Schleife geschmückt. Am Hals trägt sie eine tropfenförmige Perle, die von einem schmalen, schwarzen Band gehalten wird, das ähnlich einem Geschenkband zu einer Schleife gebunden ist. Zu der Perle passt ihr dezenter Ohrschmuck. Der rechte Unterarm wird von einem goldfarbenen breiten Armreif umschlossen, an dem ein Anhänger befestigt ist. Zierliche Pantoffeln bildeten ihre Fußbekleidung, jedoch ist der rechte Pantoffel auf das Bett gefallen, so dass der rechte Fuß nackt bleibt. Doch wird er durch das Überschlagen der Beine vom linken Fuß samt seinem Pantoffel verborgen.
Hinter dem Bett steht leicht vorgebeugt eine schwarze Frau, die vor ihrer Brust einen in weißes Papier gehüllten, üppigen, bunten Blumenstrauß hält. Sie wendet sich der liegenden Frau zu und blickt sie an. Bekleidet ist sie mit einem rosafarbenen Gewand und einem rötlichen Kopftuch. Auf dem Fußende des Bettes steht eine kleine schwarze Katze mit hoch emporgerecktem Schwanz, die den Betrachter direkt mit ihren hellen Augen anblickt.

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