Study of a Reclining Nude

Study of a Reclining Nude

c. 1841

Isidore Pils

(French, 1813/15-1875)

Oil on fabric

Unframed: 72.5 x 92 cm (28 9/16 x 36 1/4 in.)

Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1939.63

Description

The languorous, sensuous pose of this woman is strongly reminiscent of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's popular paintings of odalisques, female slaves, and concubines in Turkish harems. Much of this canvas has been left thinly painted or entirely blank, suggesting that it was a figural study rather than a finished work of art. The French Academy in the 1800s viewed the depiction of the nude as the ultimate measure of an artist's skill. Because models changed poses frequently, students had to work quickly and without embellishment. Here the artist completed only those areas needed to emphasize the contours of the model's body.

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