Olympia - a nude done at the Palette & Chisel in Chicago, Illinois
This is a piece I did in soft pastels. It was made on August 27th at the Palette & Chisel during their Saturday morning open figure-study session. The session was 4 1/2 hours, but I think I was there for about 4. I skipped out on the last half hour because my parking meter was up, and the piece had come to a satisfactory resolution. Although I do not know he model’s name, she has worked there before, and is in my opinion quite incredible. There are times when you are doing a study, and you inevitably make eye contact with the model. There are no words sufficient to describe those moments.
The pose, the coloring, and the eye contact reminds me of Edouard Manet’s famous painting Olympia, so I titled it as such. The master’s piece was a controversial painting in it’s time since it presented the nude without being veiled in mythological or religious themes. It was simply a painting of a courtesan rather than a depiction of a goddess and was considered vulgar by the public attending the Salon.
Information about Olympia by Manet