Jan 21, 2012

Weekend Edition 12

Edouard Manet

Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe
This is a feminist painting. Manet shows us the attitude to women in society at that time. First thing that you see on the painting is a basket. It was used, you see lunch leftovers scattered around. The second thing you see is the nude female body. It probably was also used, as you notice her clothes scattered around. Then you see two men talking. They are paying as much attention to the woman as to the basket. They are talking about something abstract, moral - some kind of mystical woman - a goddess? We can see her in the upper center. She is created by men's mind, and she is pretty modest, living in the forest alone (according to fairy tales) and nevertheless her body is covered unlike as her "real" representation. The last thing that you notice is the naked woman face. She is smart. She is fully engaged in the conversation. Manet puts her at the same level with men, as you can see her face is at the same height as theirs. Her posture tells us that she is thoughtful. She is detailed oriented, she notices things that men are not aware of - she is watching us, she knows that we are looking at her.

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