Great Bathers essay

When people begin to talk about something even if

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Unformatted text preview: e some of this timeless appeal lies in the general public’s familiarity with Renoir and his work. Nochlin states towards the beginning of her essay that her “negative gut reaction” to Renoir’s bathers “was shared by many critics at the time Renoir painted it” (Nochlin 450). The fact that people have been arguing about Renoir’s bathers for nearly a century is the reason it is still in the spotlight. Society has proven that a person does not have to be talented in order to become famous. In recent history the word ‘celebutante’ has been coined to refer to people who are quite simply, famous for being famous. Socialites like Paris Hilton 4 manage to acquire public fascination through scandal, controversy, and negative publicity. The fact that people talk about ‘celebutantes’ is why they get more attention and are talked about even more. It is a vicious cycle that provides fame without talent. In my opinion Renoir has the same cycle escalating his nude paintings to fame but not to the same extent. Of course Renoir, unlike current day ‘celebutantes’, had great skill. I am by no means arguing that Renoir was not a talented painter, but there are plenty of artists as talented as him who never achieved a sliver of his recognition. I am arguing that Renoir’s fame in part is due to the controversy surrounding his depictions of nude women. As Nochlin pointed out, many critics of Renoir’s time had the same negative gut reaction as she experienced when first viewing his work. When people begin to talk about something, even if what the...
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