Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus


The everlasting allure of the nude in painting has inspired artists throughout the ages. Artists are influenced by other artists – perpetuating the same themes and compositions.

Sleeping Venus (Giorgione)

The painting of Olympia by Manet was inspired by Titian’s Venus of Urbino, which in turn refers to Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus. One of the most famous and typical of Giorgione’s works, Sleeping Venus, which is now in Dresden, was first recognized by Giovanni Morelli and is accepted as being the same painting seen by Marcantonio Michiel and later by Ridolfi (his 17th century biographer) in the Casa Marcello at Venice.

In Manet’s Olympia an authoritative hand covers the model’s total nudity, like in the Sleeping Venus, this emphasizes independence, sexual dominance and her status as an object of desire. Manet replaced the little dog (symbol of fidelity) in Titian’s painting with a black cat, which symbolized prostitution. People have suggested that she is looking in the direction of a door, as a client barges in unannounced. Read more…

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About peter

'Death by Sushi' Fish can kill me. When I was very small (maybe 3 or 4 years old) my grandfather, who lost the sight of one eye from a bullet fired by a German sniper (fortunately not a very good one) during the Battle of the Somme in World War 1, wiped my face with the corner of his apron, an apron he had used to wipe his filleting knife on. He was a grocery shopkeeper who specialized in wet fish.