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Young Curators of Women in Art

Uncertain Nude by Caroline Odedina


The meaning of Nevermore is uncertain and seems to be a deliberately ambiguous painting. The most significant part of the painting is the large nude woman lying in the foreground. The bright reds and yellows make her stand out from the darker background. Although she stands out in the picture we do not know what her situation is. She seems anxious about surroundings.

I noticed the bird on the windowsill staring at the naked lady, this is said to be the bird of the devil that is watching, I think this represents evil, and that something mysterious is about to take place because of the way the two women are standing at the back. It gives me the impression that they are whispering and gossiping spiteful things to each other about the naked lady.

The nude lady is looking suspiciously at the corner of her eyes, she looks innocent, abandoned and appears to be listening intently, I think this is because of the women in the background are worrying her, although I can not be certain.

The patterns and colours look sombre and sad; the decoration of the interior is imaginary and quite dreamy. The way the patterns are styled and formed on the bed head and underneath the bird fills me with confusion because the way the bed is placed makes me unclear of the space and makes the painting look flat.

By using these techniques Gauguin gives us an impression of the woman’s anxiety.

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