The work of Gustave Courbet and modern censorship


L’origine Du Monde is a famous painting otherwise known as the origin of the world. This painting which was created in the year 1866 displays the portrait of just the abdomen area of a naked woman lying down on the bed with her legs spread. The framing of this body without ahead and the arms and lower legs outside of the area makes this work of art considered to be an eroticism.

Although the painting was far ahead of its time and shows incredible talent from the French artist, this painting often is banned from posts on line due to its erotic nature. The oil and canvas painting is of a favorite model of the artist. The original model Joanna Hiffernan was repainted not only by Courbet but also artists like James Whistler.

The work has been heavily censored but does appear in museums. The art has also been pandered throughout the years including a short response created by Cibachrome called L’origine de la guerre or The origin of war. This separate artists version of the painting was a response featuring a man framed in the same way with an erection.

One of the main social networks that continues to censor images and sharing of this artwork is Facebook. A famous news story occurred back in 2011 when the Copenhagen-based artist decided to illustrate his comments on the painting through video clip as it aired on DR2. Facebook not only disabled the artist’s profile but censored the image and would not allow reposting. All other pages featuring the painting are regularly deleted as well.

As a result of some of this history and in tribute to this incredible oil painting which deserves recognition, I created my own updated version of the work with a touch of humor to pass the Facebook censorship policy. Check it out below!

The origin of the world by Gustave Courbet corrected by John Beckley to pass the censorship of Facebook
The origin of the world – The work of Gustave Courbet and modern censorship

About the author 

John Beckley

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  1. Hey John
    I have followed you for a while I think your work is fantastic.

    Ian from London

  2. This is totally brilliant! J’ai étudié Courbet et passé plusieurs heures au musée d’Orsay a regarder ses peintures. I love what you’ve done with it! It really says a lot about our society…
    J’adore ton travail, tes peintures m’inspirent beaucoup.

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