Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor.—There is a well-substantiated
point of view that in the history of European oil painting the depiction of
the female nude often served the function of erotic titillation to those who
financed the work of artists, ie, gentlemen of the wealthier classes.1 Typically, the viewer looks into the painting from
a vantage point that affords the most intimate view of the depicted nude female.
The painting by Gervex1 would be an excellent
example to make this very argument. The patient is a voluptuous young redhead
with a lacy drape barely covering her lower body and hair flowing sensuously
off the bed into our view. As Dr Southgate2
points out, the nude woman is the point of this painting; the flock of surgeons
is merely the incidental, concrete subject matter.
Passey MM. Interpreting Art and Poetry in JAMA: In the Eye of the Beholder. JAMA. 1998;279(1):19-20. doi:10.1001/jama.279.1.17