totally new approach to art history never got it back, the have lost it )-:
How have women been depicted in modern art (1860-1960). How do these depictions reflect changing attitudes? Select a range of examples by both male and female artists to illustrate your answer.
As I flicked through the heavy pages of the traditional and
authoritative book on art history in my search of women seen
through both male and female eyes and painted with the skills of a
man's and women's hand most of what I cold find was male artists,
and if there was a woman painter there was little or no information
about her and her work was sometimes shown in black and white
reproduction, so if I wanted more information I had to turn to books
that deal only with women's work, as it was a separate issue, or a
totally different branch that had to be separated from the Main body
of art history.
Women have been seen and depicted differently through time, as
the styles changed so have the attitudes, (but not radically) the
perspectives from which the world was looked at, also the way We
as viewers experience the works has developed, today we are aware
of different approaches, contexts and cultural biases. From 1860 to
1960, From impressionism and Manet, to Abstract Expressionism
and de Kooning the female is still nude, and her function is her
(most of the time) naked body. Through Modernism there is a
difference in a way a woman depicts her self and the way a man
During Impressionism we see women as pretty long dresses that
reflect the sun and are a good ground to play with colors. Her faces
are not clearly seen, they are blurred and in shadow, like in Claude
Manet's sketch for The Picnic. Than again the man here are not
depicted any clearer, but in further works when the woman is naked,
man are not, like Eduoard Mante's Dejeuner sur l'herbe (1863).
Edgar Degas's young women are fleeting forms in elegant poses
usually ballerinas Ballet Rehearsal (1874), he does not forget the
ordinary folk woman in Two Laundresses (1884).
While Degas was an onlooker and his paintings seem that his
subjects do not seem to be aware of his presence Edourard Manet
has shocked his contemporaries with his work Olympia (1862-3). It
was disturbing for that time because this woman, who was a
prostitute, shamelessly stares at the viewer in the life size painting.
She is relaxed in her nakedness, almost aggressive, the black kitten
that is in a attacking pose re-emphasizes this attitude, she is no nice
girl and carries no shame or pretentiousness. It caused a great
upheaval, because till than naked woman never looked 'outside' at
the viewer, but always had an unconscious, lost, dreamy or
unconcerned gaze. This paintings were easy to look at, there was
not any uneasiness about starring blatantly at her, even though in
real life, woman's role was a housekeeper, mother and a guardian of
moral values, here she was exposed in a different manner.
Marie Cassat (1844-1926) who was influenced by Japanese art has
depicted woman in her everyday life, as a mother, house keeper, in
woman's chambers. Her paintings are warm, even though simple in
style. Feminine in a sense of a gentle mother looking after her child.
Man and woman depict the feminine in a different way, often for
a man is an extreme of either an unearthly saint or a shameless
prostitute. But when woman had the chance to paint herself it was
different from what the man has seen. Even though their styles
might be similar their choice of emphasis differs. This can be seen
between the paintings of Paul Gaugin (1848-1903) and Paula
Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907). It is said that she was influenced
by his style, and has seen his exhibition before painting her Self
Portrait (1906). She worked within the codes of the female nude,
but her Self Portrait has a...
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