Edouard Manet – Luncheon on the Grass – Google Art Project.jpg
John Berger says the nude in European oil painting is an admirable expression of European humanist spirit
A double golden shovel
Barbara Niven talks about Manet’s Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe, and John
says the nude is an expression of European humanist spirit. He says
the nude, as a result, has to survey everything she is and does, being
essence, a perfumed object to be looked at and envied.
Of being naked, that’s simply to be without clothes, but to be nude is
self-delight. To be nude is to be seen naked by others, and, a/
is to be in disguise (essential), and b/ solitary.
The awareness of being naked is revealed in form:
compulsion to shame, pinning fig leaves, modest hand gestures there-of.
To look at yourself naked in the mirror is to seek reassurance.
Make your own picture for your own pleasure and forget Manet. Make it
contact your own competitive spirit. Your beauty depends
(with what you reveal) on precisely
the way you impose yourself upon
world-ly men (all fully clothed btw). Stay anonymous and do not,
as this painting suggests, do any more over-sharing.
You, the expression of European humanist spirit, your
live pleasures are for you to experience
in private with people of your own choosing. With
it comes a certain amount of nudity and those,
to put it bluntly, moments wondering why and who.
Go-to lovers? Manet paints over them, you know. Envy
out-strips art, though I’m sure he still speaks highly of you.
Bios And Links
is from Manchester but now living in Wiltshire. Poems in The Honest Ulsterman, IceFloe Press and The Wombwell Rainbow. Poems due to appear in Stand in 2022.