Thoughts on Modernism


This essay will critically examine the relationship between Euro-American modernism and South African modern art. It will begin by putting the terms modernism and aesthetics into context with the world and each other. The South Africa artist that will be discussed is Walter Battiss who’s art engages with the art forms and aesthetic ideas of Euro-American modernism. The assignment will then address the following issues; contextualising and defining modernity and the aesthetics of modernism with reference to modernist theorists such as Clive Bell, Clement Greenberg and Wilhelm Worringer. The essay will then introduce the artwork of Walter Battiss, African Figures and Whall. Followed by explaining  why the works demonstrate the artists relationship to the Euro-American avant-garde. In conclusion the critical discussion will critically discuss the aesthetic and ideological underpinnings of the works chosen within the context of modernism.

Introduction of Modernism

The term ‘modernity’ and the aesthetics of modernism in art has been largely theorized. The theories are relevant to different parts of the world at different times. The definition that will be contextualised is the Euro-American ideals. The movement began in the late 19th century and early on in the 20th. Modernism was shaped by the development of modern industrial societies and rapid growth of cities as well as the reactions to the horror of World War 1. Modernists rejected Enlightenment thinking as well as religious beliefs. Modernism is characterized by a deliberate rejection of styles from the past and emphasizing instead on innovation and experimentation in forms, materials and techniques. The first concept to know is that modernism extended further than simply art and literature, it was what “truly was a live in our culture” (Greenberg 1992: 754). The beginning came along with the artist Kant, who began by criticising the discipline itself. Modernism made clear that, although past masters in art had touched on the same topics that artists were doing then, the old masters had emphasised the wrong or irrelevant information (Greenberg 1992:760).

Discussion on aesthetics

Clive Bell in his article titled “Art”, 1914, speaks about ‘significant form’ which he uses to describe the idea that the form of an artwork or forms within an artwork can be expressive, even if largely or completely divorced from a recognizable reality (Bell 1914). He describes it to be ‘lines and colors combined in a particular way, certain forms and relations of forms, [that] stir our aesthetic emotions’. Worringer, proposes in his book, Abstraction and Empathy that art has nothing to do with the aesthetics of beauty, bur rather the conditions under which the representations of the artwork came about (Worringer 1992:68). He goes on to say that aesthetics have become subjective and therefore beauty has been replaced with life denying ignorance and is all abstract and necessary. Modernist art orientated itself to flatness and became fully focused around being flat (Greenberg 1992:756). The flatness rebelled against the three dimensional illusions that the old masters had tried to create. Bell describes the feeling that arises from an artwork ‘aesthetic emotion’. He describes the feeling as a stirring within the viewer as a quality only good works of art have in common (Bell 1914). Harrison says that nothing about modern art matters so much as it aesthetic merit (Harrison 1996:146). One can conclude from all theorists that modern art was flat, not necessarily beautiful and a rebellion.

Modern artworks as examples

To support the discussion of artworks that are generally accepted as expressions of Euro- American modernist ideals the examples of works that will be used are Kandinsky and Matisse.

Modernist artists become aware of the relation that mankind had to the cosmos, an awareness that extended into the phenomena of the external world (Worringer 1992: 69). For this discussion, the works of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) hold true to this statement. His works such as Composition VIII (figure 1) represents the deep and spiritual emotions of the human capability (TheArtStory 2017). Kandinsky’s background of living a childhood enriched by ethnic and spiritual interactions play out in his paintings. The mature and modernist theme of spirituality and the emphasis of stirring emotions through shapes and colours was very fitting for a modernist artist.


The other famous modernists, Henri Mattiesse (1869-1964), painted the portrait Nancy, as seen in Figure 2. The painting is completely flat and holds a feeling of movement within the colours. Matisse had already met Picasso when he painted this portrait and the African masks/primitivism is highly prevalent.

Figure 2: Henri Matisse, Nancy, oil on canvas.

Introduction of South African Artists

By showing an example of South African artist, Walter Battiss’ work, the discussion will then demonstrate the artists relationship to the Euro-American avant-garde. Battiss’ work was made in 1950

Introduction of Battiss

The South African artwork that will be discussed is Walter Battiss’ African Figures made in 1950 as well as his artwork Whall made in . Battiss (1906-1982) is one of the most influential South African Modernist artists. His training was done in South Africa and completed at the age of 32. Training included archaeology, Sanskrit as well as traditional San rock art.

His painting African Figures (Figure 1) depicts seven African women surrounded by nature, cooking and cleaning. The color scheme is largely blue and green. The expressionistic and flat surfaces influenced by the modernist movement is evident in his painting technique.

Figure 3: Walter Battiss, African Figures 
Figure 4: Walter Battiss, Whall

Paintings relationship to euro avant guard

Many early theorists on African Modernity argue that the origins of the modern movement began with the Western art influences brought to Africa through colonisation (Okeke 2000). In Africa one can refer to many different modernisms specific to the continent’s different countries. Therefore, African modernism cannot be broached merely by invoking European modernism, for it is not simply an African manifestation of twentieth-century European art.

Discussion on the aesthetics and ideologies of the paintings

The chosen Battiss paintings will be critically discussed regarding their aesthetics and ideological underpinnings within the context of modernism. The discussion will focus on women and nature. The female figure in art has  long been associated with nature, the combination of the two implies that women are passive, possessable , available and powerless (Parker and Pollock 1992:116). The ward primitivism is also often associated with females as well as African modernist art (Antliff and Leighton 1996). The figures in  African Figures by Battiss’ contain both female figures as well as a primitive style in which they are painted. Knowing that Battiss is an African artists, practicing in South Africa, he is bound to come across nature as well as more traditional and basic lifestyles. Therefore his choice of portraying the women in a natural scenery is not absurd. However he chooses to depict them as uneducated and natural as possible, implying the same ideologies as the colonialists before him, women, especially African women had no place in the particle and formal world of men. Female figure thought time have mostly been depicted as figures that are unconcerned with mortal things, allowing undisturbed and voyeuristic enjoyment of the female form (Parker and Pollock). The figures in African Figures display the notion of the voyeur looking into the lifestyle of the unoccupied females.

Although, Battiss had an advantage of not being stereotyped as a black African artist during the time, as these qualities lended the audience to assume certain primitivism and erotic associations, Battiss continued to make more African inspired art.


In conclusion, this essay has managed to critically examine the relationship between Euro-American modernism and South African modern art. Modern art is defined by the characteristic of rejecting the traditions of the past and creativity and innovation for new techniques to make art. The South Africa artist, Walter Battiss who’s art engages with the art forms and aesthetic ideas of Euro-American modernism. The assignment will then address the following issues;  Contextualise and define modernity and the aesthetics of modernism with reference to modernist theorists such as Clive Bell, Clement Greenberg and Wilhelm Worringer. The essay will then introduce the artwork of Walter Battiss, African Figures and Whall. The essay will explain why the works demonstrate the artists relationship to the Euro-American avant-garde. In conclusion the critical discussion will critically discuss the aesthetic and ideological underpinnings of the works chosen within the context of modernism.



Sources Consulted

Antliff, M & Leighten, P. 1996. Primitive, in Critical terms for Art History, edited by RS Nelson & R Schiff. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.King, A. 2013. Exotic fruit. Apollo December:72-77.

Bell, A. 1914. Art. [O]. Available: Barnard, M. 2001. Approaches to understanding visual culture. New York: Palgrave.

Blogspot, 2011. [O]. Available: Huston.

Fried Contempary Gallery, 2012. [O]. Available: Hatfield.

Greenberg, C. 1992 [1965]. ‘Modernist painting’, in Art in theory 1900-2000. An anthology of changing ideas, edited by C Harrison & P Wood. Oxford: Blackwell: 754-760.

Harrison, C. 1996. Modernism, in Critical terms for Art History, edited by RS Nelson & R Schiff. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Harrison, C & Wood, P (eds). 1992. Art in theory 1900-2000. An anthology of changing ideas. Oxford: Blackwell. (A critical reference book that addresses virtually every aspect of modernism.)

Okeke, C. 2000. The Short Century : Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, Prestel Verlag, Munich

Parker, R & Pollock, G. 1981. Painted ladies, in Old mistresses: women, art and ideology.

“Wassily Kandinsky Artist Overview and Analysis”. [Online]. 2017.

Content compiled and written by Eve Griffin. Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors. Available from:

[Accessed 25 Mar 2017]

Worringer, W. 1992 [1910]. ‘Abstraction and empathy’, in Art in theory 1900-2000. An anthology of changing ideas, edited by C Harrison & P Wood. Oxford: Blackwell: 68- 72.


What motivated Feminism in Art?

As said in Parker and Pollock’s reading, Painted Ladies, to be a great art master one had to be male as only males were given the necessary ‘tools’ of becoming one. Namely the academic skills as well as the power to have access. This essay aims to critique the ideological construct of Modern Art. It will make reference to the artwork Self portrait, 1906 by  Paula Modersohn-Becker,  as the artist attempts to redefine the female figure.

Modern Art has ideologies that were born long before ‘Modern Art’ was defined. During the Renaissance up until the nineteenth century, an artists success was defined by their skills in representing the human figure. Artists were taught to stay the female body. However women were not denied this privilege. The male access to the female body is form of power and control. Therefore males during this time had the ‘tools’ of being well trained as artists as well as having power and control over the female body and therefore were permitted to become great ‘masters’.

In Paula Modersohn-Becker’s Self Portrait of 1906, the artist tries to redefine the female figure. Previously the female figure had been one that males have access to, one that is ‘passive, available (…) frankly desirable and over sexualised'(Parker and Pollock). Although the title suggests that the painting is a portrait of the artist, she has failed to make it one the does not subject her as a woman. Due to the parallel that is established between woman and nature, the image is a depiction of a self possessed individual.

What also critiques against Modersohn-Becker’s self portrait is that she used Gauguin’s paintings as reference. Gaugin has a long history of being a man who used women as objects in his paintings and very much asserted his male and dominant power upon them, in real life and very blatantly in his paintings.

In conclusion, Paula Modersohn-Becker in her self portrait has tried to address the issue of the female body within Modern Art, saying that it needs to become one rid of passiveness and desire only. She has managed to question the patriarchal society and ideologies around being a female artist and what it means the be one. However in her artwork she has failed to achieve her aim.


Parker, R & Pollock, G. 1981. Painted ladies, in Old mistresses: women, art and ideology.London: Routlege & Kegan Paul:114-133 [Chapter 4].

Cover image – Zinaida Serebriakova’s Nude. Available from:

Subtle, Feel-good, Feminist video Artists


This essay will explore two artists who work within the medium of video. The artists being researched are Swiss Pipilotti Rist and Congolese Michele Magema. The research will include a brief history of the artists careers, an overview of the creative landscapes of which they belong as well as their processes. The essay will reference to stills taken from the videos to portray an overview of the works in progress. For Rist’s video this essay will explore her artwork Ever is Over All, 1997 and Magema’s Interiority Fresco IV. The Kiss of Narcissie (e). 


History of Career – Rist 

Pipilotti Rist was born in 1962 in Grabs, Switzerland. She studied graphic design, illustration and photography at the Institute of Applied Arts in Vienna, as well as audiovisual communications and video at the School of Design in Basel. Rest began working as a graphic designer in Switzerland. She then gained a following in the mid-1980s as a member of the experimental post-punk pop group Les Reines Prochaines, for which she made some of her earliest video works. She now teaches at the University of California and Los Angeles.

She has had solo exhibitions in Spain, Denmark, New York, Geneva, Switzerland, Chicago amongst many other countries. Her group exhibitions include being in the Guggenheim Museum SoHo, New York, Venice, Spain and many other counties and Art Museums too. Rest currently lives in Los Angeles, America and Zurich, Switzerland.(Electronic Arts Intermix )

History of Career – Magema 

Magema was born 1977, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Magema’s work exists within a matter space of a frontier of France and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her parents provided her with the authorization to interrogate her own history and that of a nation, her place of birth, as well as the continent of Africa at large. In 1984 she immigrated to Paris and currently still resides there. In 2002 she received her BA in fine arts from l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Clergy (Signs).

She has been a resident artist at Cité Internationale des Arts and has exhibited her work in the Global Feminisms Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and at the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. She has also participated in the Africa Remix exhibition.

Creative landscape – Rist 

Rest has created a series of videos that are music-based, however they subvert the form of the music video to explore the female voice and body in pop cultural representations. The videos merge rock music and performance with electronic manipulation.

Pipilotti Rist explores the themes of female sexuality and media culture through playful and provocative fantasies in the everyday. She pinpoints popular cultures investment of desire within the everyday. Her main theme, fantasy is seen through a dream-like scene and then always brought to reality by ironic humour. Her work has impact and ambiguity because of her use of voyeuristic pleasure and the reminder of the real world.

Figure 1: Still from Rist’s Ever is Over All. The flower the girl holds easily replicates the shape of a knobkerry/weapon (The Art Desk).

In her artwork, Ever is Over All the video envelops the viewers in two slow-motion projections on adjacent walls. In one a roving camera focuses on red flowers in a field of lush vegetation (MoMa). One the left projection, a woman in a blue dress and ruby slippers strolls down a car-lined street. The fluidity of both scenes is disrupted when the woman violently smashes a row of car windshields with the long-stemmed flower she carries. As the vandal gains momentum with each gleeful strike of her wand, a police officer approaches and smiles in approval, introducing comic tension into this scene.

In the video Rist positively describes negative aspects about femininity. The video has since been appropriated by Beyonce in her lated album Lemonade.The flower reveals the overall shape of the phallic, therefore the ideology of the flower combines femininity and flower-power into an overall feel good video.

Figure 2: Still from Rist’s Ever is Over All. The police gives an encouraging smile and acneoweldgement and walks on, instead of arresting the vandaliser(Fact).

In the video Rist positively describes negative aspects about femininity. The video has since been appropriated by Beyonce in her lated album Lemonade.The flower reveals the overall shape of the phallic, therefore the ideology of the flower combines femininity and flower-power into an overall feel good video.

Figure 3: Still from Rist’s Ever is Over All.  This still shows a better view of the phalic shapes within the flowers (Art Orbit).

Creative landscape – Magema

Michèle Magema draws from her experience as a child exiled from her homeland. Today, as she develops her art, Magema examines the history of her people and Congo. Slavery, genocide and internal wars are also a major focus in her work. She explores the themes of her feminine identity displaced through time, memory, and history, reflects an image of a woman with a new identity – one that is totally detached from exoticism. In her video, the text refers to the the myth of Narcissus and Echo a tale of unrequited love and eternal punishment. ‘We shall seek to ascertain the directions of this dual narcissism and the motivations that inspire it’. (Fanon, English translation, 1967: 9-10).

Figure 4: Still from Interiority Fresco IV. The Kiss of Narcisse(e). Magema is seen on a split screen observing white (colonial) faces on the walls of Paris(Vemo).
Figure 5: Still from  Interiority Fresco IV. The Kiss of Narcisse(e). Magema is seen on a split screen with a mask over her face and on the other screen walking way into the tunnel she came from.
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Figure 6: Still from Interiority Fresco IV. The Kiss of Narcisse(e). Magema is seen on a split screen kissing the face of the white (colonial) masks in Paris.

 Creative Process – Rist 

Rest says she enjoys video as she works with other professions, such as editors and filming crew to make the artwork, she also enjoys filming and making videos just by herself too. However, usually there are eight people involved in the video.  She says that there is an experimental element to each work and she enjoys being able to use each of the equipment by herself too, so that there is an element of herself in each process of the artwork too.

The audio in Rist’s work is often a simple soundtrack of music. She is also a member in a band, Les Reines Prochaines and can therefore create her own music.

Creative Process – Magema 

Magema makes use of the split screen in many of her videos. As the material of her works are always simple. She uses historical facts that she interprets through the prediction of scenes. Through these frontal images she exposes her body to use it as a metaphor for the relationship between the human being and the world at large. Her work sets up a direct relationship that centered on the world the field of society and politics.

Magema enjoys working on her artworks alone. Often she is the only character in each video and the videos are usually static, meaning that she can leave the camera on a tripod.

The audio in Magma’s video is of classical piano.


This essay has successfully explored the two artists, Pipilotti Rist and Michele Magema. Each artist has given a brief history of their career, Rist was born in Switzerland and currently works there and in Los Angeles, while Magema was born in Congo and now works and lives in Paris. Both artists have studied art and art currently still making works that exhibit all around the world. Both Rist and Magema are interested in the themes of femininity. While Rist explores a fun and humorous side to her videos, Magema has slow and simple shots of repetitive movements. Their processes differ, Rist enjoys working with a crew, while Magema works on all her artworks alone.

4. Reference list

African Digital Art, 2016. The Video Art of Michele Magema. [Online]. Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].
Art Rador, 2014. 10 African Video Artists to know Now. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].
Electronic Arts Intermix ,2016, Pippilotti Rust,  535 West 22nd Street, 5th Flr New York, NY 10011, Available from – %5BAccessed on 16 August 2016]
MoMa, 2016. Pipilotti Rist Ever is Over All, 1997. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].
Signs, 2005. Michele Magema – Goodbye Rosa. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].
Youtube, 2016. Hold up – Beyonce vs Pipilotti Rist. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].
Youtube, 2011. Pipilotti Rist on her working methods. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].
Figure 1: The Art Desk, 2011. Pipilotti Rist, The Eyeball Massage, Hayward Gallery. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].
Figure 2: Fact, 2016. Ever is Over All. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].


Figure 3: Art Orbit, 2012. Pipilotti Rist; Overrated underpants? [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].

Figure 4: Vemo, 2012. Michele Magema. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].

Figure 5: Galeri Seroleon, 2015. Michele Magema. [Online] Available from –èle-magema. [Accessed on 16 August 2016].

Figure 6: Vemo, 2012. Michele Magema. [Online] Available from – [Accessed on 16 August 2016].


Renoir and Degas: who depicts Bathers better?


This blog will discuss the genre of the nude during the Fin-de-siècle (turn of the century) by comparing the works of Renoir and Degas, focussing on their Bather series. It will make use of N. Brood’s reading,  Degas’s ‘misogyny’ (1977) as well as T. Garb’s reading, Renoir and the natural women (1985). The blog will begin by explaining what the key terms; Fin-de-siècle is as well as the context of the nude within the Fin-de-siècle. The blog will then continue to discuss the important concepts such as reshaping nature through culture, voyeurism, castration complex and fetishism.


Fin-de-siècle is french for end of the century, similar to ‘turn of the century’, refers to the end of the 19th Century (more or less 1870 -1910). It is also known as the period of degeneration, boredom, cynicism, pessimism and decadence. There was also a reaction to materialism, hope for new beginnings through a revolt against rationalism, positivism, the bourgeois, liberal democracy. The Fin-de-siècle like any other culture had a counter culture and that was to reject social order.

The Nude (in the Fin-de-siècle)
The nude was considered an acceptable representation of nakedness, in art before the 20th century. It was considered the reiteration of beauty and a base on which to transform nature into a culture. Male nudes were typically gods and warriors, while female nudes were venues and odalisques. There was aways an element of perfection, godly status, goodness, beauty and immortal life.
Figure 1: Francois Boucher, The Toilete of Venus. 1751. Oil on Canvas.
However, during the Fin-de-siècle artists wanted to depict the female nude for what they were; actual reality. The nude became an expression of erotisissim, ascetic enjoyment and pornography. Without surprise, the new ‘artistic nude’ was not highly approved of.
Figure 2: Gustav Courbet, L’Origine du Monde. 1866. Oil on canvas.


Reshaping nature through culture

‘The very act of painting is male, culture is male, and that which is represented exists in the order of nature so that ‘women’, Renoir’s most frequent subject is seen to operate on the physical and ‘primitive’ level of culture.’ (Garb, 1985, p4). In this quote about Renoir’s choice of depicting women, one can see that the men are seen as cultured while women are not, meaning that men have the power to reshape the way nature/women are seen in culture. Renoir’s nudes reinforce a patriarchal society, by depicting them as an extension of nature. All his nudes are at one with nature, blend into the background of nature are at total peace and in bliss with nature. As seen in Figure 3, the painting depicts naked women, bathing in a forest. The colours of their skin is an extension of the colours used to depict nature, therefore they are an extension of nature. The fact that the are bathing also implies that they are only capable of very primitive activities.

Figure 3: Pierre-Augustine Renoir, Bathers in the Forest, 1897. Oil on canvas.

Renoir also likes depicting his female figures doing household chores and looking after pets and children, reaffirming their place in society.

Renoir’s depiction of women as a timeless, mythic version of women often leads to the assumption of praise (Garb, 1985. p5) but this idea must be oppressed as it shows the lack of engagement into the reality of a females life. Many other thinkers, writers and artists at the time were documenting on the fact that women were denied the same rights as men. Renoir is a misogynist as he did not want women to gain equality in society. Therefore he places them in roles that are submissive to men and reinforces the myth of women. Renoir also believed, along with many other theorists of the time, that if women altered the particle system, they would alter nature too.

In controst, Degas depicted his female nudes as slaves to the male viewer. His dancers and bathers express the pain and effort it takes to look effortless. This is seen through the expressions of hardship, the distorted bodies (see figure 4) and the ‘furious opens, displayed as bodily distortion and disarticulation’ ( Bernheimer, 2014 p159). Degas stripped away societal norms and revealed true identity, which was not well received by society.

Figure 4: Edgar Degas, Bather stretched out on the Floor, 1886-1888. Pastel.



Voyerism is  expressing a sexual interest or looking and spying on people, that are not aware of the voyeur, engaged in intimate behaviour.

In the case of Renoir Bathing series of paintings the paintings have a distinct feeling of voyeurism. This is seen in the females obliviousness to the male eye and their ease at playing amongst themselves (figure 3).

Castration complex

Castration complex is the fear of being emasculated.

According to the psychoanalytic account,the male voyeur is trying to escape anxiety by obsessively reenacting an original trauma, his imagined perception of female castration, from a situation of mastery and control (Bernheimer, 2014). The male voyeur sees the absence of the phallic and concludes that the female is considered the other in his eyes. He is then relieved with the thought that he as not been castrated, like the female is.


In Renoir’s bather paintings one can distinctly see that the women is submissive to the man, emphasising that he has mastery over her (Garb, 1985 p8). This is seen in the way that the women are depicted naked, as a submission to the viewer, bodies are often twisted to expose breasts or thighs, expressing a harmful playfulness. Renoir also expresses how he prefers his women not to be able to read but only to take care of the children, implying that he has a fear of women becoming an equal to him. He then argues that women would not become elevated, through an education, but denatured and debased.  His ideas of women as household essentials is reinforced by his paintings of women doing household chores with ease. He also mentions how the best exercise for a women, is to be scrubbing floors, once again emphasising his fear of a women being an equal to a man.

In Degas’ bather series one can see the castration fear play part, as the females are depicted alone, extraordinary self-sufficiency, separateness, and sensuous privacy of the women is depicted. The male viewer is not invited to watch and feels almost like a trespasser. The women are rendered as physical beings in their own right rather than as projected, complicit objects of masculine desire (Brenheimber). The women are not only averted from the male gaze but are also completely unaware of it. The images invite empathy and the contemplation of narcissism.

Degas also emphasised on expressing women as individuals, not as subjects that were meant to emphasise charm, grace or prettiness.

Figure 5: Edgar Degas, The Tub, Pastel on cardboard, 1886



Fetishisation is to make a fetish of something – excessive devotion or obsession for something/someone

Renoir’s fetish is clearly the womanly body.


In conclusion this blog has explored the theme of the nude within the Fin-de-siecle between the artists; Renoir and Degas, focusing on their bather series. In N. Brood’s reading,  Degas’s ‘misogyny’ (1977), one learns that——– .  While in T. Garb’s reading, Renoir and the natural women (1985) we can understand the depiction that Renoir made of women, by pronouncing them to be a part and extension of nature and less than men. Renoir does this by depicting women as primitive and beautiful. In Garb’s reading one can see that Renoir also had a fear of castration, for he feared that women would be an equal to him and he therefore would no longer find them attractive. In Bernheimer’s reading Degas’ Brothels (2014) with reference to Degas’ pastels of women bathing, the reader can understand that Degas saw women to be slaves of the male viewer, Degas depicted the pain and reality of an individual woman through his paintings.


Bernheimer, C. 2014. Degas’s Brothels: Voyeurism and Ideology. University of California Press. pp158-186


Broude, N. 1977. Degas’s ‘misogyny’. The Art Bulletin 59(1), March:95-107.

Garb, T. 1985. Renoir and the natural women. The Art Oxford Art Journal 8(2):3-15.

Leeks, W. 1986. Ingres other-wise. The Oxford Art Journal 9(1):29-37.

Figure 1: Bc.Edu, 2010. Francis Boucher The Toilette of Venus. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 1 June 2016].

Figure 2: Huffington Post, 2015. Facebook In Legal Trouble After Censoring That 19th Century Painting (NSFW). [Online] Available at: [Accessed on 1 June 2016].

Figure 3: Lenin Imports, 2015. Pierre-Augustine Renoir. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on 1 June 2016].

Figure 4: Painting and Frame, 2010. Edgar Degas After the Bath or Reclining Nude. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on 5 June 2016].

Figure 5: Study Blue, 2013. Impressionism/post-impression. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on 5 June 2016].