Saturday, June 07, 2008

WHEN IS ART NOT ART


I bought a print of this Fragonard painting when I was 18. I was interested in 18th Century French history and even more interested in fabrics and fashion of that era. So when I looked at this, I saw lace, silk, the hat and the slipper shoes. I studied the construction of the clothes and how the hair complimented the fashionable dress.
It was only after a lecture on 18th Century art that I found out it was a lovely example of l8th Century soft porn. It's not just a pretty girl in a silk dress on a swing. She's kicking her leg high enough to lose a slipper, high enough for the well-dressed gentleman hiding in the bushes to get a good view up that leg. Ladies of that era did not wear undergarments and by the look on his face, he's enjoying the view. So who paid the shadowy figure (possibly wearing a cleric's collar) in the background to send the swing so high? The lady with the high kick or the gentleman with the low look.
It's not what we look at but what we are taught to see.

12 comments:

R.H. said...

Tell me, how these bum academics school teachers and other assorted no-hopers would have the guts to say that some hobo with shit hanging on the walls of art galleries was a fool. It's not the intent that matters in what's produced, it's the effect it has, and old plonk bastards like Henson would know very well the danger of images like his getting mainstream acceptance.

R.H. said...

Get a look at the geese on Mad-Maid Croggons petition. See the glorified descriptioms given themselves by these useless deadhead lot of bastards.

They don't plant potatos,
They don't pick cotton,
They don't work the assembly line at Ford.

They are parasites.

Totally non-productive.

Jayne said...

Ahh, the same academics who keep insisting that Captain Bligh deserved the mutiny on the Bounty, despite being a very reasonable bloke with a crew of lazy sods.
The same academics who keep insisting that Easter Island inhabitants caused their own problems by cutting down the trees, despite scientific and archaeological evidence to the contrary.
The same academics who state no knickers were being worn when in fact knickers were introduced to the masses everywhere with the production of cheap cotton undergarments after the industrial revolution in the early 18th century.

JahTeh said...

Rh, I find his work technically brilliant but not his young subjects. He doesn't take one photo, he takes quite a few and then he chooses one for us to view so he's leading us through his eyes. I would never have had the kind of trust that these young people have in him but that's personal for me.

No proper knickers as we know them for our lady on the swing, just silk stockings and a lace garter. It made it easier to stand over a chamber pot and let loose.

Brian Hughes said...

I just hope she wiped the swing down afterwards.

Ann O'Dyne said...

oh Hughesy ... you made me forget what I was gonna say ...

JahTeh said...

Annie O, stop encouraging that antiquarian.

Davo said...

Whatever happened to Norman Lindsay?

JahTeh said...

Davo, it's the question that's been asked, what if the photographs had been paintings? I'd still find it not to my taste so I wouldn't give them a second glance.

Ozfemme said...

Just like Brittney stepping out the limo... only more bushes....

Middle Child said...

Jahteh - you're going to have to do something to HUghes to stop us all forgetting what we were getting all so hot under the collar about - look he's done it to Ann O'dyne as well - this is NOOO laughing matter hahahah -

and what else went on in the world as this red herring was dragged accross the front pages of the papers - hm...a litle nuclear waste dump in the NT perchance? Or something so unimportant that it got half an inch and appeared only once...

JahTeh said...

And the gold medal for triple entendre goes to OzFemme who wins her kids for the school holidays.

Therese, nothing can stop Hughes.
We've tried everything, even sent over some killer sheep from Nu Zeelund but it seems he's indistinguishable from the other Fleetwood ruins and they couldn't find him.