Olympia And Edouard Manet's Venus Of Urbino

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In 1538, the work of art known as Venus of Urbino was completed by the famed renaissance artist Tiziano Vecellio (more commonly known as Titian). This tranquil, beautiful scene is a demonstration of the light hearted feel of the Venetian Renaissance. Nearly three hundred years later, the piece Olympia was created, by the artist Edouard Manet. This particular piece of work is a depiction of an outlook of a society facing political unrest with a harsh take on realism. At first glance, with themes of objectification and nudity, these paintings seem similar. However, at a closer glance, these paintings are wildly different and the seemingly similar subjects make for an interesting contrast between two societies that were worlds apart. When Venus of Urbino was completed, it was greeted with…show more content…
While they both depict the ability of women to lure men into their embrace, the attitude of the seduction taking place is different. One of the most prominent examples of this is the placement of the right hand in both of these pieces. In Venus of Urbino, the subjects hand is placed in such a way that is at the least relaxed, and at the most, inviting. However, in Olympia, the subject’s hand is placed firmly on her thigh, though sensual, is rather uninviting, though her nudity suggests that seduction has indeed occurred. Between this, and the black cat at her feet, it is assumed that she is a prostitute. In contrast, Venus of Urbino features a puppy at the end of the subject’s bed, one that represents the innocence of the subject. In addition, in this piece Titian puts perspective to good use, providing a clear division of fore, mid and background. This provided a more open, airy look to the image, which captured the essence of the isolated state. Titian’s masterful use of colorito not only adds to the experience, but his use of venetian red seems to give the subject life. Olympia, however, lacked such depth, and appears a much more cramped, and grave. The

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