what is an odalisque
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The word “odalisque” is French in form and originates from the Turkish odalık, meaning “chambermaid”, from oda, “chamber” or “room”. It can also be transliterated odahlic, odalisk, and odaliq.
In popular use, the word odalisque also may refer to a mistress, concubine or paramour of a wealthy man.
The painting was commissioned by Napoleon’s sister, Queen Caroline Murat of Naples,  and finished in 1814.  Ingres drew upon works such as Dresden Venus by Giorgione, and Titian’s Venus of Urbino as inspiration for his reclining nude figure, though the actual pose of a reclining figure looking back over her shoulder is directly drawn from the 1800 Portrait of Madame Récamier by Jacques-Louis David.
Another interpretation of this painting suggests that since the duty of some concubines was merely to satisfy the carnal pleasures of the sultan, this elongation of her pelvic area may have been a symbolic distortion by Ingres. While this may represent sensuous feminine beauty, her gaze, on the other hand, has been said to “[reflect] a complex psychological make-up” or “[betray] no feeling”. In addition, the distance between her gaze and her pelvic region may be a physical representation of the depth of thought and complex emotions of a woman’s thoughts and feelings. 
Mette, for someone to like the Picasso is hardly amateurish, but rather very sophisticated. I always find it interesting to look at a variety, through time, of
one subject matter. Still life, landscapes, scenes of domestic life, etc.It tells so much about the attitude of the time. I really appreciate your careful reading of all the posts.
Thanks so much, Kathy. The story of you and your grandmother is so interesting
and telling to this whole concept. We can only imagine what it evoked back then.
And for the next two centuries, rather than being murdered when a new sultan ascended the throne, possible claimants were incarcerated, widi deaf-mutes for servants and barren odalisques for companionship.
Not of those that men desire, sleek Odalisques, or oracles of mode.