The Myths Surrounding the Harem and its Female Slaves
This 5-part Series, explores Lou-ann’s research on harem paintings, focusing largely on depictions of Odalisques.
“The exploration of the motif of Odalisques is linked to the overall tradition of the nude in Western art. Indeed, paintings titled Odalisques are nude or semi-nude females, often alone or in the company of slaves, depicted in an Oriental setting, which has been a site for the exercise of male fantasy. It has been argued, notably by Keddie, that throughout the centuries many Westerners have stressed the seclusion and poor conditions of women in the East as a justification for Western rule and tutelage.”