tagNon-Erotic PoetryIngres' La Grande Odalisque

Ingres' La Grande Odalisque


The look she cast over her naked shoulder,
the long expanse of smooth alabaster skin.
The knowing painter's eye examines ever deeper,
while I would hardly know where to begin.

The elongated supple spine and velvet skin
invite the gentle touch of ling'ring fingertips.
And yet her gaze denies the hithering
and holds voyeurs at bay with pouting lips.

What calculus did Ingres make
to paint the brimming passion chilled,
the smothered heat? The cool eyes slake
the yearning first aroused, then stilled.

Author's note: This was written in response to a challenge by greenmountaineer to write a poem inspired by erotic art. La Grande Odalisque, painted by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in 1814, immediately came to mind. On reading about the painting, I learned that Ingres was criticized as soon as it was exhibited for overly elongating the model's back (the model was Napoleon Bonaparte's sister Caroline, Queen of Naples). In 2004, a study measured live models and found that the length of her back is about five vertebrae longer than a normal human female's, and suggested that the painter intended this to indicate her aloofness (Maigne, Chettellier, and Norloff, 2004, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine). This does not detract one iota from the sensuality and eroticism of the painting, though it was rather interesting.

Report Story

bylegerdemer© 0 comments/ 1323 views/ 1 favorites

Share the love

Report a Bug

1 Pages:1

Please Rate This Submission:

Please Rate This Submission:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Please wait
by Anonymous

If the above comment contains any ads, links, or breaks Literotica rules, please report it.

There are no recent comments  - Click here to add a comment to this poem

Add a

Post a public comment on this submission (click here to send private anonymous feedback to the author instead).

Post comment as (click to select):

Refresh ImageYou may also listen to a recording of the characters.

Preview comment

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar: