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GALLERY: Paris museum opens male nude exhibit
A curious visitor to the "Masculin/Masculin" exhibit at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, surveys "Vive la France", by Pierre and Giles. Photo: German4/Youtube

GALLERY: Paris museum opens male nude exhibit

AFP/The Local · 25 Sep 2013, 14:43

Published: 25 Sep 2013 14:43 GMT+02:00

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Juxtaposing traditional painting and sculptures with contemporary homoerotic photography, a museum better known for its impressionist masterpieces has brought together more than 200 pieces in a collection designed to stimulate and amuse in equal measure.

"It is an exhibition that doesn't take itself too seriously," Guy Cogeval, the museum's president and one of the curators of the exhibition, told AFP.

Entitled "Masculin/Masculin", the collection features 70 paintings, around 20 sculptures and numerous photographs. It is due to run until January 2nd.

Inspired by a similarly-themed exhibition staged by Vienna's Leopold Museum in Autumn 2012, the Orsay display aims to offer an insight into how ideals of the male body have evolved over the last two centuries.

The male nude, Cogeval believes, is "no longer possible to ignore", and the Orsay programme features many staunchly heterosexual artists such as Angel Zarraga, Paul Flandrin, Jacques-Louis David and Anne Louis Girodet celebrating men at their most natural.

"It's male beauty in all its glory," he said.

And with so much 'glory' on show The Local has put together a few images from the exhibition for those who may not be able to make it to Paris or for those who simply can't wait. Click below.

Take a virtual stroll around the "Masculin/Masculin" exhibit

The exhibit "juxtaposes traditional painting and sculptures with contemporary homoerotic photography." Photo: German4/Youtube

Organisers are braced for the possibility of controversy, particularly as the exhibition also features nude representations of Christ and the arrow-studded body of the early Christian martyr Saint Sebastian.

"Showing the extent to which an (image of) a religious figure like Saint Sebastian can be ambiguous about the line between pain and pleasure is entering very intimate territory and that could trouble or shock certain visitors," co-curator Xavier Rey acknowledged.

Cogeval is resigned to losing a section of the museum's usual audience but is hopeful that most visitors will come with an open mind. "I think the exhibition is so beautiful that I believe it will win them over," he said.

For more information on the exhibit visitthe Musée d'Orsay's website by CLICKING HERE.

What do you see? Beautiful works of art from down through the ages? Or nothing more than a load of naked men?

Join the conversation in the comments section below.

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AFP/The Local (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

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