The smoky nude

The smoky nude


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  • The White Slave.

    LECOMTE DU NOUY Jean Jules Antoine (1842 - 1923)

  • The Sighs.

    LAURENS Paul Albert (1870 - 1934)

  • Idleness.

    ZACHARIE Philippe Ernest (1849 - 1915)

  • Tea.

    SCALBERT Jules (1851 - 1928)

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

To close

Title: The Sighs.

Author : LAURENS Paul Albert (1870 - 1934)

Creation date : 1913

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: Exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1913. Photograph by François Antoine Vizzavona (1876-1961).

Storage place: Rmn photographic agency, Druet-Vizzavona fund website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - F. Vizzavona

Picture reference: 97-008903 / VZD4238

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - F. Vizzavona

To close

Title: Idleness.

Author : ZACHARIE Philippe Ernest (1849 - 1915)

Creation date : 1912

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: Exhibited at the Salon of French Artists in 1912. Photograph by François Antoine Vizzavona (1876-1961).

Storage place: Rmn photographic agency, Druet-Vizzavona fund website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - F. Vizzavona

Picture reference: 98-006642 / VZC10491

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - F. Vizzavona

To close

Title: Tea.

Author : SCALBERT Jules (1851 - 1928)

Creation date : 1914

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: Exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1914. Photograph by François Antoine Vizzavona (1876-1961).

Storage place: Rmn photographic agency, Druet-Vizzavona fund website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - F. Vizzavonasite web

Picture reference: 97-027591 / VZC10089

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - F. Vizzavona

Publication date: October 2011

Professor of contemporary history IUFM and University Claude Bernard Lyon 1.Head of University for all, University Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne.

Historical context

The New Nude

With the IIIe Republic, customs are liberalized and censorship is relaxed. One element often gives a topical note: cigarettes.

The association of women and cigarettes dates from Mérimée with her Carmen. But in the days of the July monarchy, feminine smoking caused a scandal and denounced the "lioness", a woman who sought to emancipate herself. George Sand, who introduced the word “cigarette” into literature, is its emblematic figure. Under IIIe As a nascent republic, cigarettes became commonplace: there were 100 million cigarettes sold in 1872, 3 billion in 1909. The essence of good manners is simply not to smoke in the street and in society.

Image Analysis

The naked smoker

Jean Jules Antoine Lecomte du Nouy (1842-1923) takes up the idea of ​​the harem scene and the slave trade with his White slave (the year of the abolition of slavery in Brazil). The bill is furiously romantic: at the edge of the pool, under the gaze of two eunuchs, seated on her silk adornments, next to cushions, rugs and art crockery, a naked woman loses herself in reveries. Modernity comes from the cigarette which she casually holds in her left hand. It blows a trickle of smoke which gives mystery and flavor to the space. The tobacco undoubtedly has a "Levantine taste"; brands of cigarettes of this type numbered in the tens by the 1880s.

The painting by Paul Albert Laurens (1870-1934) titled The Sighs turns a comedy Harlequin and Pierrot around a beautiful Oriental girl lasciviously stretched out on a sofa: the myth of the Circassian woman is still in full swing, making hearts beat faster. The Idleness by Ernest Philippe Zacharie (1849-1915) shows the plasticity of a smooth and hairless body of a woman who has just got up after a nap and stretches nonchalantly. Jules Scalbert (1851-1928) gives a very erotic version of the tea break: an impeccably dressed maid brings the tray (with two cups: the man is not far?) To his naked mistress under a negligee that hides nothing of its forms. Here again, the scene is set in a bourgeois interior (Louis XV sofa à la Pompadour). In all three cases, the cigarette emphasizes the beauty of the woman by the elegance of the gesture. Note the Orientale cigarette holder which, with the long, double-row pearl necklace, heralds the fashion of the Roaring Twenties.

Interpretation

Soon the cigarette makes woman

In the 1910s, cigarette advertising still scarcely dared to use the image of women. It wasn't until the 1920s that we saw beautiful smokers appearing in charge of training men to smoke. La Gitane is a good example: first drawn, she was photographed in the 1930s as a flamenco dancer, however still dressed. On the other hand, the painting already shows women, preferably naked, with a languid cigarette, in an intimate scene in principle naturalistic.

  • women
  • naked
  • tobacco
  • eroticism

Bibliography

Jacqueline BALTRAN, Paris, crossroads of arts and letters. 1880-1918, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2002. Kenneth CLARK, Le Nu, Paris, Le Livre de Poche, coll. "Art", 1969, reprint Hachette coll. "Pluriel", 1998.William A.EWING, Le Siècle du corps, Paris, editions of La Martinière, 2000.Michel HADDAD, La Divine et Impure.Le nu au XIXe siècle, Paris, Éditions du Jaguar, 1990.Didier INFANT, Cigarette, History of a tease, Paris, Payot, 2010.

To cite this article

Didier NOURRISSON, "The smoky nude"


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