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Allison Boon Art History 10F Elizabeth Towers 120799 Third Essay Topic 1 The depiction of the nude female model by a male artist in oil painting has played a significant role in the western tradition over the last 500 years The oil painting of the female nude is subject to the artists interpretation of her form She is affected by the artists desire for his model as well as his art and she is torn between the artists inability to be both lover and painter Hubert Damischs The Underneaths of Painting helps the reader understand the importance of the male painters imaging of the female form By analyzing Balzacs Unknown Masterpiece Damisch uncovers several tangents to the unique relationship between artists and the women they create on canvas Balzac tells a tale of the truth behind the creative process of an artist and the way he perceives his vision when finally completed in oil Poussin is a young painter who doesnt quite understand how the concepts of desire and love will affect the perception of his model and lover Gilette He soon embarks on a journey that takes him underneath the paint Under the paint and as its truth instead and in the place of the so-called picture the exchange assuming its last true face a woman for a picture and a woman for what forms or ought to its subject It is at this point in the picture where the subterranean archaeological presence of the woman reveals itself that something is given to see something that can be spoken that can be named something moreover alive delectable a foothold for desire in a word something that looks at us unlike the inexpressible wall of paint that holds it captive Damisch 202 There are many layers of paint put on to one canvas but the image isnt visible right away she must grow through the brushstrokes When the last brush of paint
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