A Revolutionary Nude

Selfportrait on the Sixth Wedding Anniversary

(Via signandsight) In yesterday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Rainer Stamm, director of the Paula Mordersohn-Becker Museum in Bremen, looks back on a revolutionary nude in the history of art, more exactly: the first female nude self-portrait, painted by Paula Mordersohn-Becker exactly one hundred years ago, and writes:

“She gazes out of her self-portrait with a blend of cheek and inquisitiveness. The format of the canvas – one metre high, for her rare – shows she’s not going to content herself with a study. Instead of showing a location, the background shines in a lemony yellow punctuated by dabs of green. Her hands surround her lower stomach. Often this position indicates pregnancy, but here instead they point metaphorically to the twin creative powers of the woman artist. She alone is in a position to give birth and to create art.”

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3 Responses

  1. david raphael israel says:

    Fascinating, thanks. Surely, though, she does look pregnant, yes? The background suggests toned-down, minimalized Klimpt.

  2. alahoff says:

    Very interesting. The woman apprehending herself is a powerful kind of portraiture. Surely we learn our own secrets in this way… I am often alone in the studio, and so I end up painting myself over and over. It’s always amazing to me how many selves can come out, many of them unexpected!

    Glad to hear that you’ve had some time to see some art!

  3. mairead says:

    This is terrific: this self-portrait is perhaps also pregnant with Frida Kahlo who 26 years later will give birth to herself.

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