Geisha ... at the slightest evocation of this little Japanese word there appears instantly before the eyes of Westerners a succession of images swaying gently between languorous voluptuousness and erotic fantasy. And yet, far from being a simple "creature" destined to satisfy carnal pleasures, the "geisha" sums up the quintessence of Japanese refinement. A source of inspiration for print artists who took the curve of a shoulder, the roundness of a breast and the delicacy of a neck to satiation, she embodies, above all, the ideal "Woman." This intelligent and cultured coutesan is simultaneously musician, poet and dancer. Westerners prefer to celebrate in her the myth of the girl-woman, mid-way between spouse and doll.
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Berenice Geoffroy-Schneiter is a journalist and art critic. She is particularly interested in the culture of the body in non-Western countries. With Assouline, she has already published Primal Arts, Africa Is In Style, Asian Art, Bags, Fayum, and Greek Beau.
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