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    The flesh of painting: Caillebotte’s Modern Olympia

    Deutsch, Allison (2018) The flesh of painting: Caillebotte’s Modern Olympia. Dix-Neuf 22 (1-2), pp. 1-22. ISSN 1478-7318.

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    The language of putrefaction, often applied through a culinary analogy, appeared consistently in the critical reception of modern-life and Impressionist painting. For example, two critics used the term faisandé, referring to well-hung meat, to describe Manet’s nude figure of Olympia in 1865. The analogies that they posed between morgue bodies, female figures, meat, and fleshy paint material became central modes of denigrating Impressionist paintings of women in the ensuing decades. Gustave Caillebotte’s Veal in a Butcher’s Shop (c. 1882), depicting anthropomorphized, gendered, and sexualized animal flesh, can be considered in this context. In my reading, the painting enacts the critical responses to his colleagues’ figures, foregrounding the violent operations through which bodies might be reduced to meat, whether literal or metaphorical. In their comparisons to rotting flesh, nineteenth-century critics expressed a visceral reaction to works of art that Veal in a Butcher’s Shop demands.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Gustave Caillebotte, impressionism, Édouard Manet, Olympia, still life, meat, decomposition
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2020 08:27
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:00


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