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

Friday, December 11, 2015

Russian Venus: In the studio by Nikolai Kornilievich Bodarevsky


In the studio


Scarlet Knight commented that she liked Russian Venuses so here we have a few by the Russian painter Nikolai Kornilievich Bodarevsky (1850-1921).  There is a long tradition of artist and models paintings and, of course, they have always offered artists the opportunity to portray naked women in a contemporary setting rather than have to find an excuse by portraying a classical or historical theme.  Bodarevsky has his girl reflected in a mirror contemplating a nude on an easel.  Is she looking at a picture of herself or one of her rivals?


Reclining nude


Here we can see the very painting, shown in the main picture, in more detail.  As someone who has drawn many naked ladies over the years there is always that extra sexual frisson in the artist/model relationship. A survey a few years ago found that artists have more sex than any other profession, for whatever reason. 




There is, of course, a slight chicken and egg situation in dealing with drawing or painting naked women and sex. Does the fact that you have drawn them naked lead to sex or is it the fact that you have had sex with them that makes them happy to pose? We have experienced both scenarios! We have always longed for a studio in which to pose our ladies and so very much enjoy these scenes set in ateliers.


Her favourite (1905)


Bodarevsky was born in Odessa, in November 1850 and studied at the Odessa school of drawing from the age of ten and then the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, graduating in 1873.  Although in Russia at the time, Odessa is in the Ukraine so he is now claimed by that country.  He certainly did most of his painting there. 


The artist's model


His painting concentrated on everyday life in Ukraine, biblical pictures and portraits; producing a set of fourteen portraits of Russian composers for  the Grand Concert Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire between 1889 and 1901.  He even painted a portrait of Rasputin!  He produced a number of boudoir paintings and nudes amongst his output.  The artist's model (above) features a number of orientalist props.


Self portrait 1915


His younger sister, Ekaterina, was also an artist and he was a distant relative of Wassily Kandinsky.  He died, in Odessa, in 1921.


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