A nude in my garden – Le déjeuner sur l’herbe

Nude In The GardenI have always wanted to paint a version of ‘Le déjeuner sur l’herbe’ this is my photographic version.

Edouard Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe (a large oil on canvas, during 1862 and 1863) caused a big stir at the Salon des Refusés in Paris, having been rejected by the Salon jury of 1863. Manet seized the opportunity to exhibit this and two other paintings, at the 1863 exhibition and reveled in the public notoriety and controversy that followed.

The painting has historic and pastoral overtones, depicting the juxtaposition of a female nude and a scantily dressed female bather on a picnic with two fully dressed men in a rural setting. This painting references previous works of art by Titian (c.1487–1576) and Giorgione (c.1476–1510). The piece is now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. A smaller, earlier version can be seen at the Courtauld Gallery, London.

The image above was created using 35mm negatives that had been taken using a Pentax SP1000 that was previously owned by my late father. The photographs were taken in 1981 and 2012.

Bow Wow Wow‘s version of the same painting:

Famously, coinciding with Annabella Lwin’s posing for album cover work, her mother alleged exploitation of a minor for immoral purposes, and instigated a Scotland Yard investigation. As a result the band was only allowed to leave the UK after McLaren promised not to promote Lwin as a “sex kitten”. This included an agreement to not use a nude photograph depicting Lwin as the woman in The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe), though the picture was used as the cover of the band’s 1982 RCA EP  The Last of the Mohicans, which became their best-selling album in the U.S.

I have always loved the drawings of Degas. The way he portrayed women, sensually and simply is to be admired. In the late 1880s, Degas also developed a passion for photography and this new skill influenced the composition of his paintings… Continue reading

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