Olympia: A monster of Modernity
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Body and Modernity Group Project
The analysis and deframing of Edouart Manets controversial Olympia, comparing it to a female nude painting that was praised by the academies, The Birth of Venus, and the role it played in breaking down barriers in the representation of the body. We will first set the stage of analysis by describing the environment of the late 19th century, as it pertains to life, art and artists: industrialization and the emergence of a large working middle class, the conventions and rules of the academies and how they attempt to contain the body, the emergence of modernist painters and what their mission was. We want to explore the reasons why Olympia created such a ruckus and why she was considered by society to be a monster. We also want to explore how this breaking down of the traditional representation of the body affected future representations, not only in art and other media, but in everyday life.