Today, in Art, I discussed this work, titled Grande Odalisque by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, with my art teacher. In 1814 when it was painted, this painting and others like it were far too provocative. I am intrigued by human sexuality so immediately, this painting caught my eye.
My teacher, who had told me to find a painting I could turn into a self-portrait, told me that I couldn't do this painting. His explanation, aside from his want to keep his job, was that this painting was inappropriate even when it was made. He explained that because the subject is staring at the viewer of the painting; this he says is the difference between naked and nude. A "nude" subject is one that is unclothed and looking to the right or the left. When the subject of a painting or artistic work is unclothed and staring directly at the viewer, the subject is "naked."
The difference, one I had never considered, is so interesting. I wonder if this difference applies in life outside art... (Although I'm not sure if there is life outside of art...)