Gustave Courbet

Post image for Before the Selfie, the Self-Portrait

CHICAGO — The selfie is a smartphone-produced version of the self-portrait, which has been a staple of art and photography history since artists first began seeing examining their own images in the mirror.

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Post image for The Age of Constricting Glamor: A Preview of Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at the Met

Compared to other portraits of 19th century ladies, Édouard Manet’s painting of poet Nina de Callias was scandalously exotic, with her golden bangles, bolero jacket, Algerian shirt, and flourish of a feather in her curled hair, not to mention her open, sensual pose. A little scruffy dog rests its head on her flurry of skirts from which emerges an exposed ankle, and a tumult of colorful fans decorate the wall behind her. While the shock has totally subsided for contemporary audiences, the portrait drove her estranged husband to demand Manet not show it anywhere. Fashion and the identities it offered or constrained in the mid-1860s to mid-1880s (centering on Paris) is an undercurrent in the works by the top Impressionists, along with examples of period clothing caged in glass display boxes, in Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, opening February 26 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Post image for Experts Argue Head Might Not Match Courbet’s “Origin” Body #NSFW

Last week, Hyperallergic reported on the alleged discovery of the upper half of Gustave Courbet’s x-rated “The Origin of the World” in Paris. Experts are now casting doubt on the argument that the portrait fragment belongs to “Origin,” or even that it was actually painted by Courbet. With help from an American Courbet expert, we delved a little deeper into the story behind the face of “The Origin of the World.”

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Post image for Other Half of Courbet’s Infamous “Origin of the World” Discovered in Paris #NSFW

Gustave Courbet’s infamous “The Origins of the World,” an intimate portrait of a female model’s nether regions, has been shocking pretty much since it was painted in 1866. Even more shocking, though, is the fact that the painting has an upper half, which has been discovered by an amateur collector among yard-sale detritus.

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Post image for Art Historical Babies Past and Present

Adele Enersen photographs her dozing daughter Mila in a variety of poses and scenes, often drawn from art history. The visual similarities between her homemade work and her sources is pretty cool, as is its relationship to art history. What other options for inspiration could Enersen pursue?

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Reactor

Trees Are Artists Too!

by Kyle Chayka on May 7, 2010

Post image for Trees Are Artists Too!

You know how everyone’s claiming to be an artist these days? Make-up technicians, hairdressers, gallerists, your kid sister, that crazy aunt who does crocheted landscapes? Yeah? Well now even plants are getting in on the game. British artist Tim Knowles attaches pens to the tips of tree branches and sets up an easel just within reach of the waving “paintbrushes.” As the tree branches sway and get blown around, the pens trace out black arcs and dots on the papered easels. There’s a minimalist poetry to the works themselves that’s pretty cool.

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