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Posts Tagged ‘color’

Horror of the Morgue!

In Critics, Olympia's Degradation, The Black Cat on May 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm

V. de Jonkevitz in Salon de 1865, May 21st, 1865:

The expression on the face is that of a premature and vicious creature ; the body, the colour of which reminds one of meat that has hung for too long, is reminiscent of the horror of the Morgue. A hideous negress dressed in pink is holding on her side the bouquet of a doubtful allegory, whilst a black cat arching his back comes and prints the unequivocal trace of the place in which he treaded with his paws on the sheet.

Critic Gautier deems Olympia repugnant

In Critics, Olympia's Degradation, The Black Cat on May 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Theophile Gautier, by Nadar.

Critic and poet Theophile Gautier writes, May 23rd, 1865:

With some repugnance I come to the peculiar paintings by Manet. It is awkward to discuss them, but they cannot be passed by in silence. . . . Many people think it is enough to pass them by and laugh, but that is a mistake. Manet is not without importance; he has a school, he has admirers, even fanatic followers; his influence extends further than is generally realized. M. Manet has the honor of being a danger. But now the danger is passed.

Olympia is inexplicable from any point of view even taken for what she is, a puny model stretched out on a sheet. The color of the flesh is dirty, the modeling non-existent. The shadows are indicated by more or less large smears of blacking.  What’s to be said of the negress who brings a bouquet of flowers in a paper, or the black cat that leaves its muddy footprints on the bed? We would still excuse the ugliness were there only some truth in it, some careful study, heightened by some splendid effect of color. Even the least pretty woman has bones, muscles, skin and some sort of color. Here there is nothing, we are sorry to say, but the desire to attract…