Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Harem Venus: Odalisque by Frederick Vezin

Here is our final harem girl for harem girl month.  An odalisque by the American painter Frederick Vezin (1859-1933).  Vezin was born in that most artistic of American cities, Philadelphia, where Triple P spent an enjoyable week a few years ago.

He studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in Germany and died there in 1933. The Düsseldorf School influenced the American Hudson River school and, as a result, many other American painters went to study there.  

Vezin's family were originally French Huguenots and some of them fled France for Germany, settling in Hanover.  Another branch of the family, who had stayed in France, moved from Bordeaux to Philadelphia in 1813.  The family connections with Germany made it easy for Vezin when he wanted to study in that country and he joined the Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie in 1876.  Apart from a short stay in Münich he lived in Düsseldorf  until his death.  His uncle lived in London and he travelled there and did a painting of Henley Regatta.  Most famous for his landscapes, portraits and interiors this painting is an unusual subject for him.

An odalisque (the French form of the Turkish odalik) was a maid to the concubines and wives of the Ottoman sultan.  If she was particularly attractive she might be trained to sing or dance and thus earn the chance to become a concubine.  Perhaps this young lady is doing an audition!

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