The Swing was accepted poorly by society due to its controversial potentially erotic image of two lovers. At this time shocking audiences with sexual undertones was quite common and Fragonard learned to do this from his teacher François Boucher. According to Henry M. Sayre in The Humanities Culture, Continuity, and Change “The Swing” contains erotic symbolism as a naked foot was a well-known symbol of virginity being lost which disgusted and shocked his audience. (817) In today’s society there is still a lot of weight in losing one’s...
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...on their behaviors and will probably continue to do so for quite some time.
Today’s viewpoint on women’s sexuality is due to viewpoints being passed down through the generations and will probably continue to exist yet change quite a bit over the next few decades. The reactions of society to The Swing and Olympia are examples of the viewpoints that have been passed down causing today’s view of women’s sexuality as being something that should be used for men’s pleasure but also hidden from society. It is important to look at gender roles and women’s sexuality in both ancient and modern art in order to help us understand our viewpoints and to help us to change those viewpoints to give women more comfortability and freedom. Society must try to make changes to their ideas of women’s sexuality so that everyone in society can feel free to be themselves without restrictions.
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