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Posts Tagged ‘coal’

Dirty, dirty, dirty

In Critics, Olympia's Degradation on May 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Various comments on Olympia appearing to be “dirty,” May 1865:

  • Unwashed!
  • Cerne de noir (Dark, black circles under eyes)!
  • Ce corps est sale (The body is dirty)!
  • Avec du charbon tout autour (Full of coal, filthy as coal)!
  • The tone of its flesh is dirty, the modeling nonexistent.  Shadows are indicated by stripes of blacking of various widths.
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The Critic “Ego” speaks – I despise Olympia

In Courtesan & Prostitute, Critics, Olympia's Degradation on May 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Manet, Olympia, 1863.

In Le Monde Illustre, May 13th, 1865.

The “august jeune fille” is a courtesan, with dirty hands and wrinkled feet; she is lying down, wearing one Turkish slipper and a red cockade in her hair; her body has the livid tint of a cadaver displayed in the morgue; her outlines are drawn in charcoal and her greenish, bloodshot eyes appear to be provking the public, protected all the while by a hideous Negress.

All is drawn with coal all around and soft soap in the middle.

No, never has anything so… strange been hung on the walls of an art exhibition.

Bertall pokes fun of Manet and his Olympia characters

In Caricatures, Paris Salon, The Black Cat on May 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm

In Le Journal, June 3rd, 1865.

Conclusion:  Monsieur Manet cleans up his cat’s corner, sends his bouquet to Theresa, and his coal-peddler to Batignolles.  The show is over.  If it occurs to him to do a masterpiece next year, it will be talked about in Podunk.

(Note: Theresa was the most popular cafe-concert singer of the day. Batignolles was the section of Paris where the Impressionists met at the Cafe Guerbois. Podunk means the “middle of nowhere.”)

Olympia derided as “coal-woman”

In Caricatures, Critics, Olympia's Degradation, The Black Cat on May 11, 2010 at 5:50 am

The cat’s tail, or the coal-peddler of Batignolles. Everyone admires this beautiful coal-woman whose modest contours have never been exposed to so commonplace a liquid as water. Let us admit it boldly: the coal-woman, her paper-wrapped bouquet, M. Manet, and his cat are the lions of the Salon of 1865.