Georges Rouault

Nude with Raised Arm

Nude with Raised Arm
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Georges Rouault
Painting, Watercolour, gouache and white, partially pastel on paper pasted on cardboard, 70.4x53.2 cm
Origin: France, 1906

This work is from Filles series. When Rouault began to show his Filles at exhibitions, critics immediately compared him with Toulouse-Lautrec. However, Lautrec was painting portraits, while Rouault was creating symbols. He chose to explore reality, however harsh, to the depth. He conducted his unblinking observation not only with a sense of what may be repellent in human experience but also with genuine sympathy that led him to find beauty in the most unlikely places. Rouault's attitude towards women of ill repute was not simple, though routed in deep and sincere Christian beliefs: the "fallen" woman portrayed as a victim of society was to him at the same time the living embodiment of Eve's fall. In this picture his complex, conflicted feelings found expression in oppressive shades of blue, a grotesque generality of forms, and a lack of "aesthetic distance" from the subject.

Style: Expressionism
Source of entry: formerly in the collection of Otto Krebs, Holzdorf
Transferred from Germany after World War II

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