Artworks
The Five Senses
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More about The Five Senses

jtucker's picture

Contributor

Ready for a question of the ages?

Okay: what is reality? This is a topic that humans have contemplated for as long as we can remember. Philosophers, scientists, and new age hippies alike have pondered this simple yet loaded question fervently, yet no one can ever seem to agree on what exactly it is.

There are a few things people tend to agree on when it comes to this topic though, one of which is the five senses. Our senses: smell, sight, hearing, touch, and taste, synthesize the constant onslaught of stimulus and in turn tells our body what is going on in the world around us. Most schools of thought tend to agree that these senses are one of the many things that construct our reality and who we are. Many people think the job of the artist is to explore human nature, so what better way to do that than to explore the foundation of the human experience?

And explore he did. Hans Makart created this five panel series in the late 19th century. While each panel can stand on its own, they are often exhibited in this order: smelling, seeing, hearing, touching, and tasting. This painting represents the ideal female human form; curvaceous, fleshy, and healthy.  Furthermore, some believe the woman in these paintings is Eve and that the panel representing taste is a reference to the moment she tasted the forbidden fruit resulting in the damnation of man. Whoever the woman may be, we can see her using her senses to construct a beautiful world filled with natural splendor, warm sepia tones, and bodacious babes. 

mhoutzager's picture

Contributor

Each panel is over ten feet tall and represents one of the five senses (from left to right) as follows:

1) looking good nude while touching a child

2) looking good nude while hearing a sound in the forest

3) looking good nude while looking in a mirror

4) looking good nude while smelling a flower

5) looking good nude while tasting some fruit