One of the paintings shown in Ways of Seeing” video is a painting by Jean Augusta Ingress called La Grandee Odalisque, This painting was commissioned by Caroline Mural, Queen of Naples in 1814. Beauty is clearly expressed in this painting. Although Ingress’ ideal of female form is anatomically impossible with the enhancement of the overly long back appearance, her figure is the ideal It is boneless. Her pose and her gaze have a deeper meaning than just a naked woman staring at the spectator. There is nothing sexual about this painting.
The fact that it was commissioned by another woman also support hat the nude is not only for male viewing pleasure. Another painting shown in the video is by Sir Peter Levy. It was created in 1972. Without knowing its history, many people would think that it was painted for a man’s fantasy. Many people also think that the woman represents Venus and cupid. The woman in the painting was in fact one of the mistresses of King Charles II, Nell Go. Yen with her child. The fact that the woman is a mistress off powerful man shows that power plays a part in the making of European female nude paintings.
Being an object in the painting also lifted up her status her and identity. The nude in European paintings do celebrate the woman within them. Just like the models in today’s world, they were no ordinary women. They had the ideal figure and have earned their place to be chosen as an object. It is a celebration of their beauty.