The Exposure of Women in Art: Nude Seating on a Sofa

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Amedeo Modigliani, Nude Seated on a Sofa, 1917

The Exposure of Women in Art

Amedeo Modigliani painted countless nudes during his short life-time, but Nude Seated on a Sofa differs in compilation than most others. Modigliani typically painted nudes in the same fashion of a woman lying diagonally in the confines of a small space, legs eclipsed by the canvas edge, and an outline with a flowing and precise line. These features combine for a typically overtly sexual and erotic painting. 

Nude Seated on a Sofa has a more subdued sex appeal. The woman does not fully reveal her body like the other nudes, instead she reveals herself in the slightest manner. The woman does not unawarely expose herself shyly, but does so meaningfully, with purposeful power. Her gaze mimics that of the women in other Modigliani paintings. His woman have an appearance that exudes sexual availability. Modigliani uses his classic technique of filling in the eyes of his subject emptily. He does so in order to remove the subject's identity, evolving them into just a painting. 

The woman in Nude Seated on a Sofa does not appear motherly from her exposed breasts. She chooses to appear as a subject of desire. Beyonce stated that “woman should own their sexuality” and the model of this nude does just that. She said, “You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist -- whatever you want to be -- and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.” The woman in the painting allows herself to appear sexy, but in a strong, self-aware manner.

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