Some of my project work for something I did a while ago. We had to choose
an image and develop research around it, I chose a painting by Jean Baptiste Greuze called
'The Listening Girl'. It looks like a normal portrait of a teenage girl from the 18th century, but then you notice that one of the breasts is peeping out of her dress. Greuze infact drew many portraits of young women with their breasts subtly on show, which made me wonder - was the model really poised like this to the painter who would have been much older than them, or is Greuze himself creating these depictions of the girls flirting with him through his art? There was a photoshoot with Nimue Smitt which had very good imagery of her holding her hands to her neck and other poses which are deliberate to make men notice them. Was this her choice or the photographers lust after women? My research progressed into the idea of the innocence of the model - being subject to whatever a painters or photographers fancy is. The artists obsession with his visualization of his model reminded me of the obsession of the character Grenuille from the story 'Perfume'. He hunted after his victims, who were virgin girls, by smelling them as they gave off the most beautiful scent he had ever smelled. But he killed them in order to take their scent, leaving behind their naked bodies, with shaven hair - all for the sake of him preserving their 'beauty'.
P.s I do tend to get carried away in my rambling though and by the end of a project literally nothing makes sense!