Sculpting the Modern Muse: Auguste Clésinger's Femme piquée par un serpent

Joyce argues that the scandal caused in 1847 by the so-called "naturalism" of Auguste Clésinger's eroticized treatment of the reclining nude with his Femme piquée par un serpent owed as much to the sculptor's experimentation with the parameters of the genre as it did to the reputation of the celebrated demimondaine, Madame Sabatier, who posed for the work. Joyce studies the figure within the context of contemporary theoretical debate, with special attention to the writing of Théophile Gautier, who praised the Femme piquée as one of the first works of sculpture to capture the spirit of modern womanhood through its bold reworking of movement and perspective.

Nolan Joyce, Wendy.
Volume 2006 Fall; 35(1): 166-88.