Presentation of theme Shocking! (Exhibition Impossible)


Artistic scandals are numerous. Some works, when they were exhibited or published caused a scandal: the religious, social and moral contexts evolve over time, but some works representing or suggesting nudity were condemned, censored, especially in times when it was taboo.

Titian’s "Venus of Urbino" made a scandal during the 16th Century since it represents a naked woman lying on a bed. She asserts her sensuality and seduction, which might seem audacious for the time. The Venus of Urbino was later an inspiration for Manet’s "Olympia".

In the 17th Century, several works by Caravaggio were rejected by his sponsors because they were considered too vulgar: it is the case for "Saint Matthew and the Angel", for which the canons refused the way the figure of the saint was treated or "Death of the Virgin" which was considered blasphemous.

Later in the 19th Century, other artists produced works deemed offensive: "The Luncheon on the Grass" by Manet caused a scandal since it represents two naked women alongside two dressed men just like Courbet’s "The Origin of the World" which was not presentable at that time.

Whatever the periods, many works were considered shocking because of the nudity of the subjects or their ambiguous meaning. We can also name among these shocking works "Alice" by Balthus which shows a very erotic naked woman, turning viewers into voyeurs.



Masterpieces displayed in the exhibition Shocking! (Exhibition Impossible)


Masaccio: "Adam And Eve Driven From Paradise" (1427, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence)

Titian: "The Venus Of Urbino" (1538, Uffizi Gallery, Florence)

Michelangelo: "The Last Judgement" (c. 1536-41, Sistine Chapel, Vatican)

Caravaggio: "Death Of The Virgin" (1606, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)

Artemisia Gentileschi : "Judith Beheading Holofernes" (c. 1611-12, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples)

Théodore Géricault: "The Raft Of The Medusa" (1819, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)

Eugène Delacroix: "The Massacre At Chios" (1824, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)

Edouard Manet : "The Luncheon On The Grass" (1863, Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)

Gustave Courbet: "The Origin Of The World" (1866, Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)

Balthus: "Alice" (1933, Centre Pompidou - Pompidou Center, Paris)

Paolo Veronese: "Supper In The House Of Levi" (1573, Galleria dell'Accademia, Venice)

Diego Vélasquez: "Portrait Of Innocent X" (1650, Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome)

Jean-Baptiste Greuze: "Septimus Severus And Caracalla" (1769, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)

Jean-François Millet: "The Gleaners" (1857, Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)

Francisco De Goya: "The Nude Maya" (1800-03, Prado Museum, Madrid)

Gustave Courbet: "A Burial At Ornans" (1849-50, Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: "The Turkish Bath" (1862, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)

Auguste Renoir : "Torso Of A Woman In The Sun" (c. 1875-76, Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)

Edvard Munch: "The Scream" (1893, Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo)

Wassily Kandinsky: "Improvisation N 14" (1910, Centre Pompidou - Pompidou Center, Paris)

Hosoda Eiri: "Erotic Print" (c. 1801, Musée Guimet - Guimet Museum, Paris)

Kasimir Malevich: "Black Cross" (1915, Centre Pompidou - Pompidou Center, Paris)

Francis Picabia: "Le Double Monde" (1919, Centre Pompidou - Pompidou Center, Paris)

Jean Dubuffet: "Gymnosophy" (1950, Centre Pompidou - Pompidou Center, Paris)

Anonymous: "Presumed Portrait Of Gabrielle D'Estrées" (16th century, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)

Francisco De Goya: "Time Or The Old Women" (c. 1808-12, Musée des Beaux-Arts - Museum of Fine Arts, Lille)

Marcel Duchamp: "L.H.O.O.Q." (1919, Centre Pompidou - Pompidou Center, Paris)

Marcel Duchamp: "Fountain" (1917, Centre Pompidou - Pompidou Center, Paris)

Hans Holbein: "The Ambassadors" (16th century, National Gallery, London)

Jean-Honoré Fragonard : "Young Woman Playing With A Dog" (c. 1770, Alte Pinakothek, Munich)



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Shocking! (Exhibition Impossible)



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