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Art Throb #1: L'Origine du Monde by Gustave Courbet

L'origine du monde (1866) by Gustave Courbet, oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay, Paris.
I hummed and ahhhed about whether to post it here, or whether to post a link to it instead. In the end I've done both (not least because of the amusing link to the 'full entry' on the Musee d'Orsay site). But this painting had to be the first Art Throb - there was no other choice as far as I was concerned. If you're offended by it, you're offended by life.

If ever a painting retains its capacity to shock, though, it's this one. I saw the original in the Musee d'Orsay in 1998 before I'd ever heard of it, and it stopped me in my tracks. Like the Mona Lisa (not displayed in the Musee d'Orsay), it's smaller than I expected, although only because it is possibly life-size. Back in 1998, I knew nothing about it, who painted it or what it was called. I never thought I'd see it again, but once you start reading about art, it crops up regularly as an object …

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