Why is she topless in Liberty Leading The People?
Traditionally, in Romantic paintings, having bare chest on show meant that she was not like other bourgeois, proletariat or peasant women, but having her breasts on show indicated power and even supernatural strength. The bare breasted lady is indeed not a lady at all but a symbol personified by Marianne – a French goddess-like figure and “robust woman of the people”. She symbolizes the French Republic. Liberty in Delacroix’s painting is no ordinary woman – she is a revolutionary goddess! She is a unashamed goddess-like warrior, who symbolizes the Revolution and the Republic, and not a depiction of women’s status in society of the time.”
“It’s subject matter is not about sex or sexuality but about the power of the revolution, the breasts are symbolic, not a pair of pneumatic boobs of a ‘page three stunna’.”
“In 83% the paintings of women in the Metropolitan Museum, in New York the women are naked– this is replicated all over the world in art galleries.”