100 Days of Art History Jinjins


Les Coussins

I did this entry because I liked the pile of patterns created by the pillows. I also liked that the main figure was lounging without a care in the world--I think that's how I wished I could be while I was painting this. The artist, Georges Lepape, is known for all his fashion illustration. He did many for Vogue and Vanity Fair.

In retrospect, when I look at this lady's turban and dark eyes, and notice how she is just lying around, I see at least a tinge of orientalism. Orientalism was rampant at this time, especially in fashion. Europeans were shallowly co-opting the aesthetics of the Middle East and making all kinds of assumptions about the people who lived there, for example that they were lazy and sexually uninhibited (but in an exotic, romantic way). This seems to have all gotten kicked off by an extremely influential performance of Scheherazade by the Ballet Russes. Now I wish I hadn't perpetuated that aesthetic and had instead somehow subverted it.

This is the last entry I did in the first year of this project. I got through 68 between April 25 2018 and April 25 2019, which now seems absurdly productive. It only worked because the first 44 were pretty dashed-off. The next two years of the project, my pace slowed way down. At this point, though, I was committed to getting through 100 master copies no matter how long it took. It was nice to have a long term project to keep plugging away at, and there was so much there to learn and explore that I enjoyed having it as a constant companion.

Reference image is from Artvee.

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