“The Madonna” ? or “Femme Fatale” ?

keets twitter avatarkeets


The Madonna?


Why is this painting called “The Madonna” ???  This is what I asked myself upon finding the title.   To me it looks like a woman who is fully consumed with passion, or has recently been consumed with passion.  She enjoys her body is the message my brain communicated.   And also,  she isn’t ashamed of enjoying her body.

According to the Wiki (yes I am a pretty lazy researcher so take what I have to say with a zillion grains of salt) the painting was also titled “Loving Woman” which I like much better than “The Madonna.”

The artist is Edvard Munch (a Norwegian Expressionist Artist) whom many of you may know is the very same artist who created what has now become an Iconic piece of art known as “The Scream.”  Scream I used this piece in Lost Girl’s Season Four finale as a means to express my feelings over Kenzi’s death.

This Madonna piece, however, had me down a rabbit hole again.   And this time the rabbit hole became a little dark and made me upset in ways I’m usually not when enjoying my love of paintings.  I still enjoy the painting, but I find some things repulsive when I think about how art work is received and perceived within the time period it is created.

The Madonna, was created with oil paint on canvas between the years of 1892 and 1895 (speculated). There were several renditions of the painting, up to five it is believed by some, two of which still exist for sure.

Munch later created lithograph prints of the painting by which the border was etched with images of sperm, and in the lower left hand corner an image of a (maybe) foetus.  I guess what we are supposed to understand with the additions on the lithographic version of the piece is that the woman was impregnated during her sensuous enjoyment of her body.


I also learned that the frame of the original painting had sperm carved into it (or painted on it) but that frame was lost during the war. The Madonna, or The Loving Woman, whatever you want to call it was also stolen (along with “The Scream”) in 2004.  It was later recovered in 2006 (random trivia).

Apparently, Munch had a model he was quite fond of who posed for this painting and held her in high esteem.  A friend named Dagny Juel-Przbyszewska.  There is all kinds of speculation about this painting and what it means, or meant, at the time it was created; from being a representation of The Annunciation to that of a Femme Fatale.  The intent and meaning is still disputed among art historians.

Is it because this subject matter was sensitive?  And, still, to this day is somewhat sensitive?   Women are still being called sluts if they enjoy sex, or want sex.   And, to me, this painting shows a woman who enjoys the sensuality of her body.  origLithoThe lithograph prints are much darker and take away from the sensuality that the original painting portrays.  To me, there is almost no comparison between the lithograph print and the original painting.  The lithograph is dark and flat, and has no reflective light;  it looks like death to me compared to the original painting.

Why am I going on and on here?  Well… because look at this picture of Bo.


I was tempted to post these images side by side and just put a note that said: SEE!


Because, really, Bo is the epitome of a woman who is purely sensuous and unashamed in her sensuality.   She is the embodiment of the word.  Episode 4 of Season One, “Faetal Attraction” displays her in this pose of utter fulfillment after a lovely romp with a married couple the night before.  She is content and happy.  It’s a glorious image and this depiction of Bo’s nature jumps off the screen.

So then, later, (getting back to Munch)  the  lithographs were created with a border of sperm to make sure everyone knew the reason this woman was having sex was to get pregnant.  Which is the only reason a woman should have sex, and she certainly shouldn’t enjoy it. LOL. origLitho Looking at the lithograph beside the original makes it  apparent (to me) that she is pretty much drowning in sperm.

And so, I found myself thinking and comparing these pieces to Lost Girl because that’s what I’ve been doing over the hiatus.  I’m unashamed to say that I am passionate about this show.  So, I’ve spent time writing these blog spots and looking at art that I love and comparing that art to a modern art form that I love.

It occurred to me that I am a little obsessed with my love of this Show.  But it also occurred to me that a lot of the fans are passionate and a little obsessed with their love of this Show.   Is that unhealthy?  I don’t know?

But the reason I’m obsessed is because they have created a few moments throughout the Four Seasons (to date) that speak to me of me.psycheeros  I’ve never had that before on television, or even in the movies: our modern art forms.

And so I embraced this Show for presenting something that represents me a little bit.  Not a lot, if I am truly honest with myself, but a little bit.  I see myself, somewhat, in the love story that Bo and Lauren represent.  The rest of the story is good too, but I watch it for Bo and Lauren mostly. I love the genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy and always have so that element is an additional bonus.

However, if this Show had gone the traditional route of making Bo a straight Succubus I wouldn’t have made it past the First Season.  Why? Because the industry is filled with straight women falling in love with straight men.   And so is the Science Fiction/Fantasy world filled with straight Vampires and Werewolves and Zombies falling in love with straight Zombies and Vampires and Werewolves.

It would be just another show with the same triangular formula.

And in many ways it is just another Show with the same triangular formula.

They have done something different and portrayed to me an honest and loving relationship with the characters of Bo and Lauren.  They have done the same to some extent with the relationship of Bo and Dyson.  But I don’t care about Bo and Dyson.  I understand the need for that dynamic to exist, but I, as a fan, do not care about Bo and Dyson as a romantic pairing.  I’m very clear on this matter.

I also know that the Show people don’t give a flying f**k what I care about.  LOL.  They are selling a product.  Some of them are creating ART.

How will their ART be perceived a hundred years from now?  Will it matter at all?  Will anyone notice or remember?  Will anyone ask why did Season Four Bo look so different from Season One Bo?  Season One Bo looks just like the original painting that Edvard Munch created.  A beautiful sensuous woman enjoying her body, enjoying her womanhood with no shame.

Season Four Bo looks an awful lot like that lithograph print to me.  For the love of God I hope they don’t make her pregnant for this Season Five.


“The pause during which the entire world halts in its orbit. Your face embodies all the beauty of the world. Your lips, as crimson as a ripe fruit, are half open as if to express pain. A corpse’s smile. Here life and death shake hands. The chain that links thousands of past generations to the thousands to come has been meshed.” (E. M.)

(Source links, read some varying opinions of Munch’s painting)





About unaligned

Unaligned Unicorns Uncover Lost Girl's Universe: A collaborative blog about the Canadian television series, Lost Girl.

4 thoughts on ““The Madonna” ? or “Femme Fatale” ?

  1. Hi keets 🙂

    Great post! And so true. It’s not like a literal recognition of oneself, to me it’s the feeling of seeing myself acknowledged as a whole person. This show, for all its failings and faults, is completely unique.

    The way I read the Munch painting and lithograph is as denunciations of Christian (and bourgeois by extension) appropriation of womanhood. By placing a fetus, furthermore, where one normally expect to find a pretty baby Jesus, Munch is subverting all of those traditional and bourgeois notions of womanhood and sexuality (which is erased in the Catholic Madonna due to immaculate conception and virgin birth issues). What comes through in the painting, as I think you say, is a celebration of feminine sensuality but not as something necessarily reassuring.

    How brilliant of you to put that painting alongside the still of Bo post- (hot) threesome.

  2. The French call sexual ecstasy “la petite morte” (the little death) as these side-by-side images illustrate:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s