The nude was the epitome of art in the late 1800s in France. They had to follow set rules in order to be considered " art'' and not, as the subject depicted courtesans. Nudes typically were represented as either goddesses or women in historical stories. Modernists were known for seeing things differently than the rest of the artistic community including when considering nude paintings. Edouard Manet( l832-1883) the "Father of Modernism" was not interested in idealizing the female form. He is known for challenging ideas that the bourgeoisie thought to be fact. He showed the nude for what she really was, to the horror of the public, a naked prostitute being paid to sit still. Much to the discomfort of the public, Manet paints his nudes without a mythological veil to cover their hideously human forms.
Mizel, Esther, "Manet's Olympia: Changing the Way People View the Nude" (2013). Student Scholarship. 16.
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