L'origine du Monde by Courbet
We've been having a discussion in my French class about whether children should be shown L'origine du Monde. If you're not familiar with the painting, you'll have to Google it, I'm not sure if I'll get in trouble for posting it here. It was painted by Gustave Courbet in 1866 and is currently hanging in Montpellier's Musee Fabre. I decided that children won't understand it as art, but if they see it, it shouldn't be a big deal. After all, it's just a representation of the human body in a very natural state. Not at all somehing I think parents should scare or shame kids about. What do you think?
I visited the Musee d'Orsay with my then 14 year old daughter where it was hanging two years ago, and was keen to note her reaction to this painting. In a perfectly predictable way, she burst into a fit of giggles. She couldn't believe that someone would paint a picture of such a thing, but I don't thing she really regarded it as 'art'. To be fair, Courbet was a competent pornographic artist, and he produced a number of commissions for gentlemen to enjoy in private. I suspect this was one of them.
Hi Amanda, thanks for your response. And, yes, this actually was commissioned as a pornographic piece, but since it doesn't really fall in line with today's pornography I feel that it kind of loses the "uh oh, kids shouldn't see this factor." Don't know if that's clear, but it's hard for me to explain...
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