Women in Western Art

The Model and The Artist

October 1st, 2009 by anniemchale · No Comments

Ann McHale
October 1, 2009
ARTH 460

Discussion Outline for The Model and The Artist

I. Introduction (Madison)
a. “ Every prominent scholar of nineteenth century art planted himself in front of her, writing paraphernalia at hand. All thought their engagement disinterested, but it wasn’t. They circled her from above, close up, on top. What did they mean to do with all those words? Describe her? Analyze her? Situate her? Or: Posses her? Control her? Silence her?” pg. 15 Alias Olympia
b. Discussion Questions:
i. What were the other authors’ intentions for writing about Victorine Meurent?
ii. What were Lipton’s intentions for researching Victorine Meurent?

II. Alias Olympia (Ann)
a. Summary: In this book Eunice Lipton investigates the life of Vicotrine Meurent. Throughout history Victorine has been portrayed as the bold beautiful model made famous by Manet’s painting Olympia. History remembered Vicotrine as the model who descended into a life alcoholism and prostitution. Lipton sets out on a search to find the truth behind the face that made Edouard Manet famous. Through her research she also incorporates her own narrative about her own personal struggles in life.

b. Discussion Questions:
i. Do you think the images of Victorine Meurent painted by Manet and others were true depictions of her life?
ii. What image did Manet portray of Victorine Meurent versus the image portrayed by Norbert Goeneutte? (Refer to pages 104-108 in Alias Olympia)
iii. What category of model would Victorine Meurent fall into, modèle de profession, modèle à l’occasion, or modèle privilégié?
b. List of Images:
i. Olympia
1. Manet
2. 1863-1865
3. Musée d’Orsay
ii. Madoiselle Victorine in the Costume of an Espada
1. Manet
2. 1862
iii. Dejeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)
3. Manet
4. 1863
5. Musée d’Orsay

iv. Portrait of Victorine Meurent
1. Manet
2. 1862
3. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

v. Street Singer
1. Manet
2. 1862
3. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

vi. Woman with a Parrot
1. Manet
2. 1866
3. Metropolitan Museum of Art

vii. Palm Sunday
1. Victorine-Louise Meurent
2. 1880s?
3. Municipal Museum of Art and History, Colombes

III. Realist Quandaries Article (Amy)
a. Summary: In this article Susan Waller explains the difference between the three types of models: modèles de profession, modèles à l’occasion, and modèles privilégiés. During the 19th century artist began to move away from the traditional model use of professional models to non-professional models. Artist began to use a diverse range of models in their work to gain a more natural element in their works.

b. Discussion Questions:
i. How did Manet influence the shift from modèles de profession to modèles à l’occasion, and modèles privilégiés?

Define: modèles de profession- was paid, posed, and had no say in the work of the artist.
modèles à l’occasion- was usually associates of the artist, family or friends. They were not paid, yet the artist worked with their image are an artists friends or family.
Propriety models – usually commissioned the work. They paid for the artwork and had a say in the work of the artist.

ii. What issues did female models face?
iii. What were the attitudes towards Victorine Meurent? Did her modeling in Manet’s paintings influence the others’ opinions of her?
Kate Dickens example of Pre Raphaelite in John Evertt Millais
The middle class women posing in the garden was less fraught than posing in an artist studio though too it could create problems

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