British Comedy Guide
Hannah Gadsby: Arts Clown. Hannah Gadsby. Copyright: BBC
Hannah Gadsby: Arts Clown

Hannah Gadsby: Arts Clown

  • Radio stand-up
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2015
  • 4 episodes (1 series)

Hannah Gadsby presents a stand-up show based on her successful one-woman comedy art shows. Also features John Lloyd.


Episode menu

Series 1, Episode 1 - Edouard Manet's Olympia

Art historian Hannah Gadsby presents her radio series of comedy lectures about four masterpieces, kicking things off with Édouard Manet's iconic Olympia.

Further details

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

Born in Tasmania, Hannah's first artistic encounters were through books. These taught her the language of art appreciation but also legitimised her desire to look at female nudes. This was just as well, as Hannah realised in her teens that she was gay even though homosexuality was illegal in her homeland at the time.

Olympia was first exhibited in Paris in 1865 and soon became controversial. The painting depicts a reclining nude but this woman had attitude, looking right at the observer with no embarrassment or demureness, which led many to believe that she was a prostitute.

However, the woman who posed for the painting was Victorine Meurent, not a prostitute but an artist in her own right who, says Gadsby, had a major influence on Manet's considerably feminist approach to 'the reclining nude' in this painting.

Hannah explains what makes Olympia a cornerstone of modern art and why she personally returns to the painting again and again.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 4th March 2015
BBC Radio 4
15 minutes

Cast & crew

Hannah Gadsby Host / Presenter
John Lloyd Quotebot
Writing team
Hannah Gadsby Writer
Jon Holmes Script Editor
Production team
Claire Jones Producer

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