• The Models' Morality: A Study of Seurat's Les Poseuses

      Dolan, Therese, 1946-; Gold, Susanna (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Completed in 1888 Georges Seurat's monumental canvas, Les Poseuses, depicts three models in various states of undress within the artist's studio. Given the relative seclusion of this work until the Barnes Foundation's landmark move to Philadelphia in May of 2012, Les Poseuses has not received the same amount of critical attention as his other canvases of combat. Despite the fact that artists in the nineteenth century regularly used professional models, their profession and, by extension, their very being had become significantly stigmatized in Parisian society. Over time prejudices developed and resulted in the unwarranted ostracizing of these working-class women from general Parisian society. This thesis will attempt to prove Seurat was not only keenly aware of the reputation of models, but that in Les Poseuses he actively sought to recognize these preconceptions through a consideration of the influence of Orientalism and fashion and the implications of the inclusion of Un Dimanche à la Grande Jatte in the background in his depiction of three working-class women.