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The Female Gaze Of Art History

Better Essays
Paula St. Cyr
Erin Farrell, M.A. adjunct
ARTH 316 W1
December 10, 2016

The Female Gaze in Art History
Thesis: Women have come a long way alongside men in presenting art in various forms, but while artistic expression has been based from the male perspective and sexuality, female artists are becoming more outspoken in their art forms challenging viewers to look beyond the physical form and go deeper into its meaning. Down through the historical years of art the human body has been the subject of intrigue and delight. While the display of the nude body has always bought about controversy for one reason or another, the controversy is only as it applies to the female nude. Not too much is ever focused on the nude body part of men, but female nudity causes quite the stir, especially from male viewers. As I delve into this art form of female gaze, it might be helpful to take a look at the male gaze as it applies to substantiating the female gaze. The notion of the male gaze has both a literal and a figurative component. Literally the gaze is male when it involves looks from the male species as a spectator or a participant in the work itself. Figuratively the male gaze is often involving a female as the object. In Laura Mulvey 's words, man is the bearer of the gaze, woman its object. Laura Mulvey, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1975). An underprivileged object I might add. In my opinion male and female gaze is not just about the features within artistry, but
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