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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Boating Venuses by Leo Putz

Recently we posted a painting by Leo Putz (1869-1940) and a number of people have asked for more pictures by this German (as he is regarded) impressionist.  In this post we will look at the series of paintings he did of women and boats between 1909 and 1914.

His nationality is rather complex, as he was born in Merano in the mountainous region of the South Tyrol on 18th June 1869.  At the time, Merano was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was German speaking.  The local inhabitants would have called it Meran and Putz would have regarded himself as Austrian.  After the First World War the South Tyrol was transferred to Italy which it remains part of today.

In fact, Putz's father was mayor of Merano and was a great believer in his son's talent.  At the age of sixteen he sent Putz to study at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich.  After this he attended the famous private art school the Académie Julian in Paris.

He had to do his compulsory military service and then returned to Munich to study with Paul Hoecker, the first teacher at the Akademie who had exposed the pupils there to impressionism.  Hoecker also led field trips to enable his students to paint outside, also unusual in German art at the time.

Illustration for the cover of Jugend (1905)

Putz joined the Munich Secessionist movement and by 1897 he had his first studio. To supplement his fine art work, Putz also did posters and illustrations, principally for the weekly Munich based art magazine Jugend.  This featured many Art Nouveau artists, to the extent that the Art Nouveau movement is known as Jugendstil in Germany.

Das kitzlige schnecklein.  Illustration for Jugend

The magazine also offered social and political comment but it was its magnificent illustrations that kept it in print from 1896 until 1940.  Many of the illustrations featured enticing women, often in fantastical settings, like Putz's sexy snail girl here.  The fact that she is tweaking her phallic horn is probably not an accident.  Putz produced a number of erotic pictures which we will look at over on The Seduction of Venus, shortly.

Part of Schloss Hartmannsberg is visible in the background of this painting

In 1909 Putz gained Bavarian citizenship which was a prerequisite for becoming a professor of the Munich Akademie. In the same year he started to spend his summers at the Schloss Hartmannsberg in Bavaria with the painter  Frieda Blell, his model and lover, who he would eventually marry in 1913

Frieda Blell at Hartmannsberg

The castle (which was more like a large country home than a fort) is situated between two lakes, Schlosssee and Langbürgner See.  This bridge of land was an important route even as far back as Roman times and the first fort to be built there was probably in the tenth century.

Schloss Hartmannsberg

Badly damaged in the Thirty Years War it was rebuilt and extensively remodelled in 1680 into its current form.  Putz would rent it as a studio, with a number of his students and friends and would paint in the open air.

One of these students, the American impressionist Edward Cucel, was heavily influenced by Putz's choice of subject matter during these summers (as we will see in a future post).  In 1913 Cucel married Clara Lotte von Marcard a friend of Putz and Blell who also stayed at the Hartmannsberg during these summer sojourns.

During these summers Putz worked on two series of paintings of bathers and women in boats. Quite often the woman in the boats was Frieda, as is the case here.

The enticing thing about Putz's boating paintings is the mixture of clothed images and naked ones.  He painted from life, outside, and it is likely Frieda modelled for both.

These ladies were quite brave to pose like this outside in the period just before the Great War and this boldness adds to the paintings' appeal.

To know that the same women who pose demurely in their white dresses and hats also stripped naked by the water is an enticing thought.

This picture is Triple P's favourite of the series, as the lady sits on her discarded dress but retains her hat. Her voluptuous body is dappled in the sunlight.  There is something timeless about this painting.  It could have been paiinted at any time over the last hundred years but actually pre-dates the sinking of the Titanic.

Putz didn't hide his models' pubic hair either but painted what he saw in a way that was still considered quite bold at the time, even in more body tolerant Germany.

Towards the end of his six summers at Hartmannsberg his style got considearably looser, as we will see with his bathers pictures another time.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Zimbabwe Venus: Nyasha Matonhodze for 14 million views

We have just passed 14 million views on Venus Observations so, in our usual manner, we have looked for a country, city or American state with a population of the same number.

With just over 14 million inhabitants we have the country of Zimbabwe.  This country used to be called Rhodesia when Triple P was younger.  The name of the African style land of Zembabwei, in Robert E Howard's Conan stories, is based the name on the ruined African city of Great Zimbabwe which was discovered in the late nineteenth century.

Nyasha Matonhodze is a model from Zimbabwe who was born in 1995 although she moved to Britain when she was eight.  She was first signed by a modelling agency at the age of 14 and did her first runway show at the age of sixteen.  Since then she has modelled for many designers and magazines and been the official face of Louis Vuiton. She is a willowy 5' 11" tall.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Centrefold Venus of the Month 65: Diana, October 1974

We actually have an October Centrefold Venus of the Month in October this month!  From more than forty years ago we have Diana from Hustler.  She is a Venus by Request from Sveta who spotted her in one of  our Pubic Wars posts for 1974.

The lady was the centrefold (or Hustler Honey, as they called them) in the October 1974 issue of the magazine, which was the fourth issue of Larry Flynt's new magazine to be published.  The first few issues of the magzine featured very Penthouse-like soft focus photography which was, by September 1974, giving little glimpse's of its models labia.

Flynt's magazine was named after his string of strip clubs in the Mid-West and these, he claimed, were named after one Elizabeth Hustler (actually called Catherine) who had run a tavern in Lewiston, north of Niagara Falls, from 1800.  She served a mixed drink made from Bourbon and bitters which she mixed using a cock's tail feather.  Flynt named Hustler in honour of her.  Well, although the term cock-tail for a drink emerged at about this time (the first reference was in 1809) the term is more likely to come from the English use of the phrase as a compound noun meaning to increase high spirits (referring to horses originally).

Diana may well have been her name, as at least one of the other Honey's from this early period had her real name used in her pictorial.  Althea Leasure was Hustler's Honey for July 1975 and appeared as Althea in that issue.  She went on to become Flynt's wife tthe following year.

So this may well be Diana.  The text accompanying the pictorial said that she was a "hostess" at Flynt's Columbus, Ohio club.  The hostess role involved "dancing" as well or stripping, to be more accurate.  At this stage Hustler was still using the strippers from the Hustler clubs as models for the magazine as Flynt could get them to pose for a lot less money than Playboy or Penthouse paid.

At this point Hustler didn't give the names of its photographers and, unlike its more upmarket competitors, pictorials were shot in one session in one location.  there was no question of taking months to produce a pictorial as Playboy did.

Hustler mixed its approach to shooting women.  There was  a lot of the Penthouse, voyeuristic style, where the model does not acknowledge the viewer but there were also some, aqs here, where the girl is looking straight at the camera.

Certainly this type of breast fondling shot was pure Penthouse, as was the slightly diffused photography.  Diana is very much the most attractive girl in the October 1974 issue.  Quite a few of the girls who posed in the first year's issues wouldn't have got signed up for the other big magazines.

Still, even though Diana might have been termed a 'Hustler reject' in years to come she has a nicely perky bust and the sort of dark looks Triple P appreciates. Our commentator observed that she looked a little like Spanish actress Amparo Muñoz who was, in fact, much prettier.

All of the girls in Hustler that month looked uniformly glum, in contrast with the girls whose pictures Bob Guccione was taking for Penthouse at the time. We're not sure if it is because they were told to look sultry or whether they were really fed up by the whole process.

In this last shot, as with her centrefold, Diana is brazenly flashing her labia (as did all the other girls that month, for the first time in the magazine to date).  The red flower she is holding could be staright out of Penthouse.  This issue of Hustler came out a month after Penthouse's own revealing labia shots of Janice Kane but whether this was enough time for Hustler to respond to Penthouse's increasing exposure, given the production cycle of a magazine is a moot point.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bathing Venuses by Leo Putz

Bathers (1914)

Back in June we featured a splendid photograph by Josef Bayer of German women bathing naked in the Motzener See.  This painting, by the Austrian born, German based Leo Putz (1869-1940), has a similar atmosphere about it. 

This is one of a number of paintings (many of them nudes) Putz produced between 1909 and 1914, during which time he stayed at Schloss Hartmannsberg in Bavaria, which is situated between two lakes.  We will look at more of Putz's enticing nudes from this period another time.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Peek-a-boo Pet Venuses.Forbidden glimpses in the early seventies: A Pubic Wars special

Ada Grootenboer displays the first unobstructed fluff in Penthouse's May 1969 issue. This was before the US issue launched in September 1969

We have just finished the second of our two posts (the first is here) on those models who flashed their pubic hair when being photographed as Playboy playmates, before such shots could appear in the magazine.  These pictures, inadvertent in their nature as most of them were, carry a frisson of the illicit. You are seeing something in retrospect which couldn't be seen at the time, unless you were in the photographer's studio on the day. 

The first Penthouse Pet of the Month to show her fluff in the US edition. Stephanie McLean, April 1970

There is a very much smaller, unseen at the time, series of photographs done of Penthouse Pets, all shot by Bob Guccione, carrying a similar charge of the forbidden.  These date from a short period in the early seventies, when pubic hair started to appear in Penthouse, to the development of the presentation of the models' genitals from 1974.  Like the exposure of pubic hair right at the beginning of the seventies this part of a woman's body was thought to be too obscene to be published in a newsstand magazine.  If the forbidden bits appeared they were carefully (and some times not so carefully) retouched so they did not offend the sensibilities of those who like to be offended.

Janice Kane, September 1974

They cover a short period of just two years, 1972 and 1973, before the floodgates (and legs) opened in 1974 with the girl who is generally regarded as the first real pussy displaying Pet, Janis Kane, an English girl who appeared as Pet of the Month for September 1974.  Janice was the first of what Triple P's Canadian friend Sophie would call Penthouse's "cunt queens" of the seventies.  After Janice's set, as was the case with the first pubic hair display, not all of the subsequent Pets were so bold and it wasn't until 1976/77 that most of he Pets started leaving little to the imagination.

Susan Ryder, March 1975

At this time most Pets had, perhaps, one labia revealing shot in their pictorial but some girls really went for it as regards exposing the previously forbidden.  Names like Sharon Longworth, Susan Ryder (already featured as Centrefold of the Month here), Bonnie Dee Wilson, Laura Favie, Martine le Mauviel and Anna Grimwood exposed themselves in a way that would soon become the norm in mens' magazines but in the period from 1974 until 1976 was still very unusual.

Patricia Barratt, January 1972

As in our Playboy sets we will include each Pet's centrefold as well.  Our first Pet comes from January 1972 in the lean shape of Patricia 'Cherokee' Barratt from Dallas, Texas.  Barratt's pictorial contained a record number of pubic shots for Penthouse, for the same month that Hugh Hefner was agonising as to whether his January 1971 Playmate should go full frontal in her centrefold.  Barratt's centrefold is certainly sexually provocative, with her multi-coloured dress just about covering her groin and making that part of her body the focus of the image.

These outtakes have Barratt with her groin uncovered and everything on show, given her very wispy pubes.  It is worth noting that these pictures were taken in 1971 at a time when many of the other major American men's magazines, such as Cavalier, hadn't even gone pubic yet.  There are pictures from this shoot of a naked Guccione being hugged by a naked Barratt so it may be that she was one of the many Pets that he added to his 'collection'.  

Guccione would have known that there was no way he could have published these shots so was obviously just doing them for his own enjoyment.  Barratt seems to be enjoying herself too.  She would go on to be Pet of the Year for 1973. 

These shots of Barratt are even more revealing as she flashes her anus for Guccione's lens. It would be nearly four years until anything this explicit appeared on the pages of the magazine.

Sharon Bailey was Penthouse's Pet of the Month for May 1972 and was, according to the magazine, a nineteen year old from Hertfordshire in England.  We have seen a cutting from a British newspaper at the time where it said her father was a successful greyhound owner and breeder.

Among her more conventional poses there is this one strikingly explicit shot which did not, of course, appear in the magazine at the time. Another one for Guccione's collection?

November 1972's Angela Adams was a twenty year old from Kent according to Penthouse.  She certainly had a spectacular figure but, like many Penthouse Pets of the period, din't pose for any other magazines so she really may have been just a secretary as the pictorial maintained.

This shot (reversed) did appear in her magazine pictorial but what did not was the glimpse of her pink parts which had been hidden by the retoucher's brush.

Avril Lund (or Lundberg to give her her full last name) was from Dublin but after travelling around Europe she settled in Brighton, England and trained to be a nurse at St Francis Hospital until 1972, which was a psychiatric hospital until it was closed in 1995 and converted into flats.

She had been singing in pubs to earn a bit more money in her spare time and a local photographer gave her work and shot a few nudes of her which he sent to Penthouse.  Very soon Bob Guccione was flying her to the Caribbean for this shoot.

Lund became the 1974 Pet of the Year but after that her trail runs cold.  Sadly, it appears she moved to Canada with her boyfriend and then to the US and at some point was forcibly admitted to the substance abuse ward of a state hospital in Visalia, California around 2010, following convictions for possessing hard drugs.  She had been living on the streets and was emaciated and suffering from hepatitis.  She died shortly after admission.

Best to remember her in her twenties, when she posed uninhibitedly for Guccione.

This sensuous picture of Avril was really the first of Guccione's pussy caressing shots and, again, was too strong to be shown in the magazine without some retouching.

Leslie Leah Burrow was, according to April 1973's Penthouse, from New Jersey and was just 5' 1" tall.  Her pictorial looks like it was shot in North Africa, somewhere Guccione knew well.

 These two spread-legs shots didn't appear in the magazine of course but, as ever, Guccione got his model looking happy and relaxed despite the brazen pose.  She doesn't, as is the case for the other girls photographed here too, look at all uncomfortable.

May 1975's Sandi Greco certainly looked just nineteen years old in many of her shots.  From an Italian American family in Massachussets she was spotted by a Penthouse editor in California after she moved there.  She was flown to London for her session with Guccione.

This shot gives out something of a Lolita vibe with Sandi's brazenly spread legs contrasting with her sweet expression and hair in bunches.

None of these three shots appeared in the magazine as the glimpse of her pink parts would have been too much for 1973.

The lilac feather in this one really draws attention to her presented pussy.  Like many of Penthouse's Pets of the time it is impossible to find anything else out about her. With out of focus forground flower, fruit, and a floppy hat this is seventies Penthouse encapsulated.

November 1973 pet of the Month, Lane Coyle's centrefold gives us a bold spread legs pose but her labia are darkened so as to be invisible.  She was supposedly an American from Wilmington, Delaware who was living in London.

These outtakes of Lane, like Sandi Greco's, feature an ostrich feather and visible parts between her thighs.  These didn't appear in the magazine, however.

Following this, Pets continued to have everything covered or obscured until the centrefold shot of Barbie Lewis in July 1974 where she is displaying her slit quite clearly.  The coyness would end with Janice Kane in September 1974.  A month later Hustler would also reveal their models' bits for the first time.  Another chapter of the Pubic Wars was beginning.