Manet, Olympia, no particular movement, 1863
How does this work challenge the tradition of the Academic Nude? Why was it at first accepted into the Salon of 1865, but quickly come to be seen as scandalous? How is it similar to an Academic nude, but what subtle changes has Manet made to present Olympia as a subject, rather than an object?
Manet, Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), no particular movement, 1863
How does Manet’s Luncheon challenge the tradition of the Academic Nude? Why was this work considered scandalous and rejected from the Salon of 1863, while many other nudes were accepted? How has Manet subtly depicted the female protagonist as more of a subject, rather than an object?
Cabanel, The Birth of Venus, French Academic, 1863
How is this a good example of an Academic Nude? How is is it ‘justified’ as high culture, but in fact little more than soft-core pornography? How is the female body depicted as a ‘object’ rather than ‘subject’?
Academic art and Manet
people, terms, and concepts: the Academy, Academic art, the Salon, juste milieu ('happy medium'), the Academic nude, 'subject' versus 'object'
This topic turns to conservative art sanctioned by the state-sponsored Royal Academies in the 19th century, with special attention to the Academic Nude -- then looks at Edouard Manet’s challenge to that tradition.
• What does ‘juste milieu’ mean, and how was Academic art considered to be a ‘juste milieu’? How did Academic art gain popularity with the public and the State due to its fantastic technical skill and its avoidance of any of the controversial or politically challenging aspects of movements such as Romanticism and Realism?
• What were the characteristics of the Academic Nude? Under what conditions was art depicting nudes (especially nude women) considered acceptable to nineteenth-century critics, patrons, and viewers? Why were such nudes considered ‘high culture,’ and how were they in fact little more than soft-core pornography?
• What does it mean to 'objectify' women? How do Academic nudes depict the female body as an ‘object’ rather than a ‘subject’?
• How do Manet's Olympia and Luncheon on the Grass challenge the tradition of the Academic nude and the representation of women as objects?
Titian, Venus of Urbino, Venetian Renaissance, 1538
(You don't have to memorize this work for the exam; just remember what Manet changed and why)