What I like about Olympia is the interesting representation of the female body in 19th century painting. far from idealisation, A real depiction of a female nude, her body is structured rigidly and very different from the fantasy of renaissance art and the softness and of hyper-realist painting techniques in nudes like Cabanel's Birth of Venus (seen in the above right). It is a true depiction of a parisien prostitute. What was immediately brought to my attention was that in person this painting has a lot more colour than shown in pictures on the internet and in books. In person Olympia's body has a lot more soft salmon which makes her more alive in my opinion (the difference in online pictures is shown below). Even her servant's dress is a very light shade of pink.

© Alexander N Komarov-Reinisch, all rights reserved