Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is This the Missing Half of the Most Controversial Painting Ever?

If any painting could be labeled “not safe for work,” it’s Gustave Courbet’s 1866 L'Origine du monde (in English, The Origin of the World; and, once again, NSFW). Banned even from Facebook, proving that prudery’s alive and well in the 21st century, Courbet’s graphically realistic painting of a woman’s nude torso went unseen by the public until 1988 and didn’t enter a museum collection until the Musée d'Orsay accepted it 7 years later. An article in Paris Match (available only in French) reports that a painting has been found that is the “lost” upper half of the painting (shown above), which shows the face of the model of the infamous work. Courbet experts argue over whether or not this really is part of the original L’Origine, but if it is, what does that discovery mean for that painting and for how we see (or don’t get to see) what has become the most controversial painting ever? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Is This the Missing Half of the MostControversial Painting Ever?"

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