Manet's Olympia

Essay by tpietriniUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2002

download word file, 6 pages 4.6 1 reviews

Downloaded 131 times

Edouard Manet : Olympia

In 1863 Edouard Manet painted one of the most controversial pieces of art the world has ever seen. Manet's painting was entitled Olympia. For years many have seen it as a joke and others a masterpiece. Discussion of the painting has included lines that look elementary, dull color, poor subject matter, and unexplainable meanings. Others feel that the simple lines, lifeless color, unique subject matter, and various meanings make the painting one of the best in the world. Although peoples' views differ no one is to say right from wrong. Anyone's interpretation of this artwork is as unique and individual as one's own personality. The way that someone views any piece of art depends on their personal experience. Olympia inhabits many aspects of creativity that some flock to while others run.

The painting's lines differentiate throughout the painting. Olympia herself has an outlined look, this makes her look two dimensional.

Using this type of contour line makes her look very flat. Olympia, however, is the only object in this painting like this. Other lines used allow the painting to flow. For instance the curtain in the background looks graceful as well as the pillows and sheets in the foreground. Its amazing how Manet made the indentation on both the pillows and the sheets. Detail is also expressed greatly. The wallpaper and curtain designs look very stylized, even though they are both different colors, they seem related because of the pattern in them. The flowers are also very detailed. The lines of the flowers allow them to be seen individually instead of collectively. Also the same flowers seen in the bouquet held by the servant can be seen in the blanket Olympia is sitting on. Another attention to detail is Olympia's bracelet and necklace.