By Rachel Mizic
FAS-102 | SNHU
In this essay I will be comparing two well-known paintings, who’s styles were both born of the French Revolution: Resting Girl (Marie-Louise O’Murphy)/Reclining Girl by François Boucher (1751) and Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.
Resting Girl (Marie-Louise O’Murphy) (1751) by François Boucher, also called Reclining Girl or Blonde Odalisque, depicts 14-year-old Marie-Louise O’Murphy de Boisfaily in a sensuous pose. It is said the painting’s purpose may have been for Marie-Louise to offer herself as an odalisque, or mistress, to Louis XV of France and, although her true intent must be left to speculation, through this painting she was successful in becoming one of his many mistresses. Resting Girl, a work of oil on canvas, was painted during the Rococo Period (1715-1774). Quite indicative of Rococo, Resting Girl is more frivolous, light, and immoral than traditional Baroque’s already over-the-top style. Though Boucher shied away from using frontal nudity to illicit arousal, the eroticism of Resting Girl is still very apparent. Some critics observed the rear-facing pose of Marie-Louise as being even more sensual than some paintings containing frontal nudity.
In Grande Odalisque, also known as Une Odalisque (1814), Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres presents a nude, reclining odalisque, or concubine. Grande Odalisque was painted during the overlapping period of the culmination of Neoclassicism and the beginning of Romanticism and was described as Ingres’ “break from Neoclassicism”, in which he shifted toward the style of exotic Romanticism. Drawing harsh criticism from his contemporaries and critics, Grande Odalisque, combined Classical form with Romantic themes, and was seen as a rebellion against the contemporary style. Also criticized were the unnatural curves and lines of the subject’s body, disproportionately long limbs and pelvis, small head, and the elongated back to which critics