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The Turkish Bath And Jean Auguste Dominque Ingres

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The concept of ‘the gaze’ in visual culture can take many forms, but generally it deals with the way in which people look at objects or subjects consciously and unconsciously. This idea can operate through the media, artwork or by simply just looking at another person. However, there has always been a sense of bias in relation to how both men and women are depicted in art. Jean Auguste Dominque Ingres’ The Turkish Bath (1852-1863 illustrates the ‘male gaze’ and the presentation of women in a Turkish bathhouse in the 19th century whereas Sylvia Sleigh’s At the Turkish Bath (1976) conveys an interpretation of the ‘female gaze’ with a reimagined version of Ingres’ painting of the same name but uses men as the subjects in the 20th century. This essay will therefore discuss the manner in which the ‘gendered gaze’ functions within Jean Auguste Dominque Ingres The Turkish Bath (1852-1863) in comparison to Sylvia Sleigh’s At the Turkish Bath (1976).

In The Turkish Bath by Ingres, the image portrayed is one of the artist’s most famous works and is intended for a male spectator. In the painting, a large group of naked women are lounging in an oriental setting of a Turkish harem, they are displayed in sensual positions which inflict a sense of erotica. To the right, women are seen caressing each other intimately as they look to the left towards someone not seen in the painting. Behind them, a woman is sat comfortably with her arms loosely crossed together whilst another does her
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