the “gaze” from 1850 CE to 1900 CE


Find two pieces that address the “gaze” from 1850 CE to 1900 CE. One by a male artist, one by a female artist-both with a female as the “gaze”. Discuss differences and similarities. (IE-what is the subject, is there a story, is the female clothed..or not). Explain the “power” of the gaze in each piece. Must include works cited and intex-cites that are MLA formatted


Reco Art 5

            Venus of Urbino is a male “gaze” artwork painted by the Italian master painter, Titian (Schiesari 13). The other artwork depicting a male “gaze” but painted by a female artist is Berthe Morisot’s painting of his brother Eugene Manet (Art + Paris 59). These two portraits have different concepts and themes regarding the “gaze” and women sexuality. In both cases, the subject is the woman or women in the case of Morisot.

Venus of Urbino

Painting of Eugene Manet

            Venus of Urbino is a classic case of sexually-driven male “gaze.” There are three women portrayed in the image in which two of them are fully dressed while the other one is very naked. The naked woman is in the foreground of the portrait and is the main subject (Schiesari 13). Similarly, Morisot’s painting shows three people; one man and two women. Unlike Titian’s painting, all the people painted an appropriately dressed and no naked skin is visible.

            The features of the people in these two paintings are very different. Titian seems to exaggerate the sexuality of the naked woman to please the viewer. Her body appears to have no bone, and her arm is directed in such a manner as to arouse sexual feelings from the viewer. By contrast, Manet seems to be looking at the two women outside the window in a non-sexual manner. Morisot’s painting seems to have a story related to the audience (Art + Paris 59). By contrast, Titian has no story rather than creating a sexual appeal.

            The two portraits have different powers of the gaze. Titian’s image derives its power from using a woman as a sexual tool to please viewers (Schiesari 13). On the contrary, Morisot’s power is derived from Manet’s gaze, which suggests innocent admiration for the female kind.

Works Cited

Art + Paris: Impressionists & Post-Impressionists : the Ultimate Guide to Artists, Paintings and Places in Paris and Normandy. , 2013. Internet resource.

Schiesari, Juliana. Beasts and Beauties: Animals, Gender, and Domestication in the Italian Renaissance. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. Print.

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