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Art / Odalisque (1874)

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Odalisque by Jules Joseph Lefebvre is an oil-on-canvas portrait of a woman declining on a bed from behind.
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The painting was made in 1874 and is currently in the permanent collection of The Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.


Odalisque provides examples of:

  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Pale skin was considered attractive in high-society, and Lefebvre goes so far as to depict her as if she was made of ivory.
  • Reclining Venus: The painting depicts a woman reclining nude on a couch. Unlike most examples, she is facing away from the viewer. The painting's very name is itself an alternate term applied to the Reclining Venus trope.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: The painting is a part of what was called the Academicist Movement, an art movement that came after Neoclassicism and Romanticism and attempted to merge both movements.
  • Toplessness from the Back: ...and bottomless too.


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