Intimate drawing – Odalisque

Intimate drawing:  The Story of reclining woman

In my intimate drawings, I capture what is closest to me – the private moments that I would hardly want to reveal. And yet, I choose to share them with my audience.

The motif of the odalisque, a reclining woman, has long been a popular subject in art. Throughout history, numerous artists have embraced this theme, and some of their paintings depicting reclining women have become iconic, shaping the course of art in their respective eras. Art historians have extensively written about the influence of these works. Notably, the odalisques created by the French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, such as his renowned piece “La Grande Odalisque,” have secured their place in history. Additionally, the more modern interpretations of odalisques by Matisse have left a lasting impact. It is worth mentioning that these motifs were predominantly painted by men, as there were very few women artists officially recognised during that time. Male artists often depicted resting women, either clothed or as a tribute to the beauty of the female form. In some cases, the motif served as a means to convey the joy of painting and the use of color, as exemplified by Matisse.

In my own depiction of an odalisque in a form of intimate sketch, I have chosen to portray her in black and white, resting on the bosom of a man. Her gaze is fixed upon him, directed towards his face. This drawing captures an incredibly intimate moment, one that is deeply personal. The tranquility and trust shared between these figures serve as the essence of their connection.