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1. Edouard Manet's Olympia

Episode 1 of 4

Aussie comedian and art historian Hannah Gadsby explores Manet's shock-evoking 17th-century painting ‘Olympia’. From 2015.

Art historian Hannah Gadsby kicks off her comedy lectures about four masterpieces, with Edouard Manet's masterpiece 'Olympia'.

She shares her first encounter with the art work as well as looking at what critics had to say about it at the time it was created.

Born in Tasmania, Hannah's first encounters with art was via books. These taught her the language of art appreciation, but also legitimised her desire to look at 'boobs'. This was just as well as Hannah realised in her teens that she was 'a little bit lesbian' but homosexuality was still illegal in Tasmania at that time.

The painting 'Olympia' was first shown in Paris in 1865. The reclining nude made a lot of people very angry at the time.

Hannah explains what makes 'Olympia' a cornerstone of modern art and what brings her personally back to this painting again and again.

She is assisted by her very own 'Quotebot' who has been inputted with every quote that's ever been written about art. It sounds remarkably like comedy legend and all-round boffin, John Lloyd.

Written by Hannah Gadsby.

Script edited by Jon Hunter

Producer: Claire Jones

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2015.

Available now

13 minutes

Last on

Sun 18 Jul 2021 03:30


Edouard Manet's Olympia

Edouard Manet's Olympia


Role Contributor
Performer Hannah Gadsby
Performer John Lloyd
Producer Claire Jones
Writer Hannah Gadsby


  • Wed 4 Mar 2015 23:00
  • Sun 22 Apr 2018 23:30
  • Sun 1 Dec 2019 23:15
  • Thu 15 Jul 2021 22:45
  • Sat 17 Jul 2021 15:30
  • Sun 18 Jul 2021 03:30