Western art followed the same rules for centuries. Until Olympia.
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For centuries, the art world was controlled by the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. They dictated how art should look and had the power to make or break an artist’s career. Getting into their yearly exhibition, the Paris Salon, was like an express pass to success. But in the late 1800s, artists started to push back against the Academy’s rules, which changed the landscape of the art world forever.
To learn more about Manet’s Olympia, listen to the ArtCurious Podcast’s episode about the painting: http://www.artcuriouspodcast.com/artcuriouspodcast/41?rq=olympia
Or read Charles Bernheimer’s “Manet’s Olympia: The Figuration of Scandal”: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1773024
And if you want to learn more about Manet, the Impressionists, or just brush up on your art historical terms, check out The Oxford Companion to Western Art: https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780198662037.001.0001/acref-9780198662037
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