Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bathing Venuses:Les Baigneuse and other nudes by Yves Diey

Here is a lovely sub-Renoir painting of three girls bathing in a pool or river by the French painter Yves Diey.  The girl on the left is particularly and delightfully Renoiresque. She looks like she may have just sensed someone approaching and doesn't seem worried about it at all!  This picture sold at Christie's, just over three years ago. for £4.375; slightly over the top estimate.

Here are some very different looking ladies from the largely fair haired bathers.  Diey painted quite a number of scenes set in Spain, often featuring Spanish dancers and musicians and thees ladies definitely have an Iberian look about them   Several of them could conceivably be the same woman.  The one above dates from 1935.

Diey was a prolific painter and turned out many simple reclining nudes like these, presumably because they sold well.   The one above is dated 1936.

These are pretty formulaic paintings and would have been quite old fashioned, even in the nineteen thirties but the quality of his brushwork is high, which is probably while they still command pretty good prices today and you would need several thousand pounds if you wanted to buy one at auction.

Although well-known to art dealers, not much is known about Diey himself, disappointingly.  He was born in 1892 and died in 1984, so had a good run.  Most of these pictures seem to date from the mid nineteen thirties but not many are dated, so it is difficult to know if most were painted in the thirties and forties (we know he won a painting prize in Paris in 1942) or whether they were done over the many decades of his long life.

Apart from his Spanish pictures he also did quite a few of Moroccan subjects.  Sometimes, as here, he combined his nude women with his North African or Spanish subjects.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Elvgren Venus: Reclining Oriental Nude in Studio (1947)

We have featured quite a few Gil Elvgren paintings on Venus Observations but this picture appeared in a post of The Seduction of Venus.  We only had a very poor image of it but thought it was such a splendid picture that we posted it anyway.  Now at last we have found a better scan.  Elvgren liked this picture so much it hung in his studio for many years and it is one of only a few such art nude oil paintings he did,

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Lust World: A Sexual Odyssey

Venus Observations is all about the visual, so we hope you will excuse us in trailing a literary venture on these pages.

For some time Triple P has been discussing writing an erotic story with our friend Sophie.  We have started a number of tales which we have shared with her and several of our other mutual friends who have all contributed suggestions and even scenarios.  These stories, originally based on the adventures of a group of French lady archaeologists in Egypt in 1921, have grown far beyond what they were originally intended to do  and got ever more complex; with extended flashbacks and such like.  They will need some rigorous editing! Sophie suggested starting a new story from scratch.  Triple P and she had often mused about the possibility of taking a classic adventure story and "sexing it up".   An early favourite was to do something with A Journey to the Centre of the Earth but recent discussions have centred around The Lost World, mainly because it has dinosaurs in it! 

We reread the novel last summer and decided to write a first chapter to see how it might go. Very soon we began to deviate from the original story; just keeping versions of the main characters  (and in typical Hollywood style, adding female ones not in the book) but retaining the core story of a group of explorers travelling to South America looking for a dinosaur infested plateau.

We decided to set it in the original date of 1912 which, of course, raised all sorts of issues regarding historical factors.  Still,we have enjoyed researching such things as ocean liners (unlike the book, which skips over the sea voyage to South America we couldn't resist having our characters on an ocean liner for an extend period), hotels (and discovered things such as London hotels did not have en suite bathrooms or room service at the time), the level of contemporary understanding of dinosaurs, the layout of the Natural History Museum, menstrual protection for women (almost unbelievably cumbersome), the names of London Underground stations (some have changed) and that critical and complex subject of women's lingerie.

Conan Doyle was one of the greatest writers of popular fiction and his elegant, spare, prose is impossible to better,  so although we have made no attempt to write in the style of a hundred years ago we have tried to avoid the anachronistic use of some words and expressions. 

All in all we have managed to include a host of things we have always been interested in: dinosaurs (both real and the ones at Crystal Palace), ocean liners. luxury hotels, women's lingerie, English country houses, old cars, hunting rifles, the railways, the Amazon and bordellos; to name but a few.

The story is organised into the following parts:

Part One: London

Our hero, Edmund Molloy, becomes involved in an expedition to South America and has his first experiences with women.

Part Two: Hampshire and London

Molloy attends the birthday weekend of Lord James Hoxton, a fellow expedition member and participates in an orgiastic few days in a country house.

Part Three: Liverpool to Brazil 

The expedition members sail to Brazil via Portugal and Madeira and have many passionate encounters on board.

Part Four: Brazil, 

The expedition penetrates the depths of the Amazon jungle.  

Part Five: The Plateau

On the plateau they discover strange creatures and strange peoples.

Part Six: London

They return to London, much changed by their experiences.

So far we have written all of part one and two and are well into part three.  We have also written a lot of part five.  Each chapter is six to ten pages long and we have written over fifty chapters so far - some 450 pages or 225,000 words.  All since last summer.

Sophie has been urging us to put it online which we have resisted, as it is really a private piece written for a group of close friends, but she thinks that some people might enjoy it.  We have, therefore, set up another blog and will post a chapter every few weeks or so to see if anyone looks at it. As she says, we are more likely to complete it if others are waiting for it (unlike my previous efforts).

Personally Selected Venus 11: for Earth Day

Today, according to Yahoo (so it must be right), is Earth Day which is, no doubt, something about saving the planet.  So here, as our contribution, is a lovely girl in the earth in the coonrtyside.  We like her smile!  Off to empty the recycling, now!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bathing Venus 1: The Bath by Louis Buisseret

The Bath (1923)

Sophie was saying to Triple P the other day that she was surprised at the lack of bathing beauties in Venus Observations, as we enjoy a young lady in the bath.  We ventured that the issue is that it is such a popular subject for artists that you could have a blog that only showed women bathing and it could  have hundreds if not thousands of posts.  She replied that if that were 'bathers' then that would be true.  Artists could put a naked woman next to any random stretch of water and call it a socially acceptable bathing painting.  Depictions of women in bathtubs, however, is rather less popular and a comparatively recent phenomenon (as were baths themselves, in most people's homes).  So we will post a few bathing beauties over the next few weeks in both painting and photography.  This enables us to do some shorter posts as we are very busy at work at present and have several major papers to write.

This very fine example is by the Belgian painter Louis Buisseret (1888-1956),  Buisseret began his studies at the age of sixteen in the the Art Academy of Bergen (the Dutch name for Mons, not the city in Norway) and then at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels.  In 1911 he won first prize in the Prix de Rome and travelled to Italy to continue his studies.  In 1922 he married Emilie Empain who was his principal model and is almost certainly the woman in this painting.  What completely splendid thighs she has!

The painting was bought at the Barcelona World Fair in 1929 and now hangs in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya,