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Video transcript

this is Parma gym TV and I back here with Robert Sommers we're looking to add a painting by Gustave Caillebotte MANET is bath and it's another one of those troublesome paintings I'm going to ask you the obvious question is this supposed to be a male nude or is this a painting of a naked man well I think that's a good question if it's a male nude or a naked man because the male nude is a construction of our history that kind of sets the body into a very particular place and time I could read statue statue something like Polly cleitus is statue of the spear bearer or even Michelangelo's David from the Renaissance these were heroic nudes but with this image in particular we see it's in a common setting - clothes and the footprints and it looks like his boots and maybe he's folded his trousers on that chair yes so there's nothing there's nothing heroic there's nothing that places it within the kind of the history of the term knew what kind of a response did this painting yet what did audiences think about it how many people even saw it well I think what's interesting is that this image was accepted into an exhibition in Brussels in 1888 so was shot it was shown but it was quickly removed from the primary exhibition - its own private room which was rather inaccessible but but they weren't bothered by seeing the same kind of images when a female was the focus I mean for example de God who did this beautiful painting I'm just about the same time of a woman at her toilette so it's the same kind of thing interior space a little tub for bathing you can see her clothes sort of tossed off to the side she's even got a towel around her back but this is really typical even a whole group of women bathing with the same kind of little round tub you can have the ordinary woman in her tub like they got but you don't have that with the nude or naked men because that feminize --is them they're supposed to be in some sort of regalia whether it's a suit and top hat or whether it's a towel just doesn't work know the challenges especially him I think what's interesting about this is that he's not showing you his front it's not frontal nudity and you hear you have like this vulnerability and I bring that word precisely up because it's still during this time period where the institutionalization of the idea of homosexuality as an identity comes into play it's troublesome to have representation of a naked male during this time in France after the loss of the franco-prussian war the France was already vulnerable and so they don't want to have the the male represented in any sort of vulnerable feminized way which is precisely what Kaiba does as opposed to de God he's showing the woman in this erotic setting but that's thoroughly during this time period acceptable to the male viewers and collectors etcetera well that's German you know Baudelaire said this was one of the places where the female will be naked in the modern world in her bath as a marvel or in a brothel he didn't seem to have a parallel list for where the men could be so I guess the the male nude doesn't really belong he's gone modern world yeah it's perfectly bringing Baudelaire because the male he's fully with the sea on he's fully dressed T's of money and he has the ability to look at the other be it a man or a woman and so I think that's really interesting that Baudelaire leads out where you would find the male nude or the naked male you wouldn't in a sense and Cobo shows you where you will