During my 3 days in Paris, I visited the Musée d'Orsay. I hadn't been in ages - 10 years or more - , it was time to go back. Being an art enthusiast, I knew I was going to love it. But I was overwhelmed by all their treasures. I couldn't believe I was in the same room as some masterpieces I have been adoring my whole life. It was a very powerful and emotional moment.
The museum is very big, and I was looking for the Van Gogh rooms, when my eye got caught by something. At the corner of my eye, I recognized that light blue, that pinkish pale skin, that physique, that brightness. I had to stop and enter that room. It was filled with classical paintings. And there it was; "La Naissance de Vénus" by Alexandre Cabanel. It is a very large painting, the colors are vibrant, and the theme is so beautifully executed.
|La Naissance de Vénus - Alexandre Cabanel - 1863|
Waw. Her figure. Her qualities are amazing. There is nothing wrong with her, she is, as the title would imply, a goddess. Smooth, glowing skin, voluptuous, soft body. Her breasts look so natural, soft, proportioned, lovely. Her shapely legs. Her flawless long arms. That glorious hip, pointing at the sky. Her breathtaking, silky, wavy long auburn hair. I can't get over how exquisite every single part of her being is. So serene.
However, at the same time, I couldn't stop thinking about how a woman with her figure would be perceived in our day and age? Would she be able to date the hot guy in her college class? Would her man be embarrassed to introduce her to his friends? Would she fit those jeans? Would people tell he she is beautiful? Would she be too pale? Too thick? Not edgy enough? Too sweet? So much to think about, how modern society makes us feel about having a thicker body. How was it back then? How will it be later on?
I will always find this art piece magnificent, sublime, in a simple and impressive way. The artist could have gone overboard with details, elements, overly complicated attire. However, he sticked to a more simple imagery. She is supported by a single delicate wave.
There has been critics over that style of paintings. Some people really don't like it. I can understand that this is very classical, academic. I am surprising myself by loving this kind of imagery. I usually gravitate more around pieces where you can see the tortured artist coming through. The innovation. The agitation. The passion. But I also see passion in this piece. Passion for work well done. Passion for a classical, beautiful art form. Passion for the old masters.