Object

DEFINITION

A material thing. Something to which attention, feeling, thought, or action is directed, therefore usually conceived as subhuman, unreflective and passive, in contrast to the active subject. It is common, for example, for feminist criticism to describe a female nude as the object of the male gaze. Such figures are thus oppressed (see oppression). When the female figure exhibits a less passive personality, as in the painting by Edouard Manet (French, 1832-1883) of Olympia, 1863, oil on canvas, 51 3/8 x 74 3/4 inches (130.5 x 190 cm) Mus?e d'Orsay, Paris; she is sometimes described as a subject, at least with respect to the single issue of her gaze.(pr. AHB-jək; but for a French pr.: ohb-ZHAY)Examples of the range of other types of works referred to as decorative objects, or objects:Attributed to Jacques Caffieri (French, 1678-1755), Paris, after 1749, Compound Microscope and Case, gilt bronze, enamel, shagreen, glass; case of wood, tooled and gilded leather, brass, lined with velvet, silver braid, and silver lace, 1 foot 6 7/8 x 11 x 8 1/16 inches (48 x 28 x 20.5 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.After designs by Pierre Contant d'Ivry, architect, French, Paris, 1756, Wall Lights, gilt bronze, 3 feet x 1 foot 9 inches x 1 foot 2 inches (91.5 x 53.0 x 35.0 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See Rococo.Also see accession, artwork, commision, commodity, deaccession, donation, Fluxus, gallery, memorabilia, museum, objectification, piece, placeholder, realia, registrar, shadow box, and vitrine.

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