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

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Chronicles of Triple P: Foreign Bodies - Water Baby 1

Having had some time this week and encouraged by Triple P's friend A, we have rushed ahead with our next episode of  the Chronicles of Triple P, our recollections of our many enjoyable interactions with women over the past decades.  It is posted here.

After the events related in this episode we started our intermittent journals, the first of which we eventually found in a crate of paperbacks at the back of the loft.  Fortunately, our handwriting then was a lot more legible than it is now!  We absolutely do not intend to post pictures of the ladies featured in these accounts but stuck on the second page of the journal was this picture of Triple P with the girl in question from this episode, taken by my uncle. Neither of our faces are visible so I just thought it might be nice to put this one up as a memento of nearly forty years ago.. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Swedish Venus: Model Writing Postcards by Carl Larsson

Model Writing Postcards (1906)

It's been very hot and humid where Triple P lives and he spent most of yesterday over at his friend A's house.  A had decided to dispense with clothes for the day and she pottered around the house completely naked.  At one point she sat down to write a shopping list and I was reminded of this watercolour by Swedish painter Carl Larsson.

The Model on the Table (1906)

It is a lovely image of a model taking a break from posing to write some postcards (the emails of the day - Europeans sent huge numbers of postcards to each other at the beginning of the twentieth century). In the foreground can be seen another painting by Larsson, Model on the Table, which depicts a real (perhaps the same) model posing on a table with a couple of mannequins.

Reclining Nude on Blue Sofa

Carl Larsson (1853-1919) was brought up in a very poor family and his scholarship from a special poor school to the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts provided him with a real escape from an unsettled and unpleasant childhood.  While studying in Stockholm he also worked as a caricaturist and graphic artist for several  Swedish newspapers, earning enough to support his destitute parents.

Nude with grapes (1872)

Larsson had already developed a facility for drawing the nude and earned a medal from the Academy for his nude drawing.  This example, done when he was nineteen, shows an idealised classical style, so different from his later, realistic, illustrative style.

Karin Larsson

After several years working as a book illustrator, he moved to Paris but did not get on with the French artistic scene. In 1882 he moved to Grez-sur-Loing, a Scandinavian artists' colony outside Paris and developed his distinctive watercolour style.  It was there that he met his future wife, another artist,  the beautiful and talented, Karin Bergöö. They got married the following year and their first child (of eight) was born the year after that.  

Leontine, Bare Backed Sitting in the Studio (1902)

Leontine standing (1902)

They returned to Sweden and, luckily for them, Karin's father was a wealthy businessman who bought them a cottage in the village of Sundborn, where her father had been born..  The couple decorated it themselves in a mixture of British Arts and Crafts style (they subscribed to The Studio, the movement's magazine), Swedish folk design and Japanese style, influenced by the popular prints of the time.  The biggest influence, however, was Karin who employed her artistic skills to design and weave fabrics for the house.  She also designed furniture, working with local craftsmen.  Eschewing the usual gloomy, dark Swedish style of the time they created a home full of light and colour.  

Rose and Back

Lisa with Flower Pot (1910)

My Wife

The English style, wild garden was becoming popular in Sweden at the time and gardens became places to relax and enjoy the outdoors rather than just somewhere to grow vegetables. Karin loved her garden and her flower arrangements often appear in Carl's paintings (as in the right of Model Reading Postcards).

When the Children Have Gone to Bed (1895)

It was also Karin who gave Carl the idea of doing paintings of the interiors of their house and these pictures were released as prints and in books.  The first of these, Ett Hem (A home), published in 1898, is still in print today. It was the technological developments in colour printing, from 1890, which enabled Larsson to produce prints and albums of his work, enhancing his reputation, considerably.

In 1909 a German publisher produced another book of his work called Das Haus in der Sonne featuring Larsson's drawings and paintings of  their house.  It sold 40,000 copies in three months and since then has been reprinted more than 40 times.  It showcased the Larsson's ideas about interior decoration to the world.

Larsson's House in the Sun

The Larsson's house, Lilla Hyttnäs, today (the part of the house in the painting is at the far left)

This book created the new 'Swedish Style' which has been so influential on interior designers ever since.  Every time you see painted old furniture or blue or green pastel painted wooden walls in someone's house it is because of the Larssons. The Larsson's house became so famous that people came to visit it as tourists.  Their home, preserved as it was, in still owned by their family and is now open to the public in the summer.  It receives about 60,000 visitors a year.

Girl crouching (1911)

Apart from his nudes and interior studies Larsson was a wonderful portraitist, often using his children as subjects.  He also produced book illustrations, landscapes and other pictures of the village and countryside where he lived.

Midvinterblot (1914)

Despite the popularity of his domestic interior watercolours, Larsson believed that his own best works were his large murals.  He had produced three of these for the Swedish National Museum's interior but the final one, which he considered his masterpiece, Midvinterblot (Midsummer Sacrifice), was rejected by the museum's board.  The controversy split the Swedish art establishment and even the government became involved.  The rejection of the picture hit Larsson hard and he suffered from bouts of depression.  The historical subject was considered not appropriate for Sweden's new modern view of itself at the time. Eventually, it was sold to a Japanese collector in 1987 who then lent it back to the National Museum where it became rehabilitated in the eyes of the Swedish public.  Eventually, the museum raised the money to buy it back and it was installed in the place it was designed for.

During the time he was painting Midvinterblot, Larsson started to suffer with eye problems and headaches. He concentrated on finishing his memoirs and died in February 1919.  In his posthumously published memoirs he acknowledged that his domestic pictures were really the ultimate expression of his personality and his love for his family.

In front of the Mirror (1898)

The copyright on his published pictures expired in 1969 and from this point his pictures were distributed widely, building his and Karin's reputation and that of Swedish Style, to where it is today.  Now you can buy Carl Larsson colouring books and calendars.

Carl and Karin Larsson

Agent Triple P has some Swedish blood so we will have more Swedish Venuses over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Chronicles of Triple P: The Taste of Things to Come

The next part of the Chronicles of Triple P, our recollections of our many enjoyable interactions with women over the past decades, has just been posted here.  Again, we have drawn on the letters of the lady in question for this one, which covers Autumn 1976 to the Spring of 1977.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Personally selected Venus 13: Joan Collins in The Stud.

We were having breakfast in Sainsbury's cafe with our enticing lady friend A and sharing the Mail on Sunday, when she pointed out this photo plastered across a whole page in their Events supplement, to illustrate an interview with Joan Collins. Slightly surprised, as Mail newspapers usually censor any hint of a nipple with a black bar.  Maybe it's the old argument that she she is actually clothed, as used by men's magazine cover designers in the early seventies when they put their models in see through tops.

She's 83!

A assumed I had seen the film the still came from (The Stud (1978)) at the time, as she claimed she hadn't been born when it came out (we are not sure about this - she has been consistently reticent about her age but we don't want to pry!).  We did, not, in fact, as it was an X certificate film (no under eighteens) and we didn't see one of those until Alien (1979) a film we were involved with.  We did see The Stud a couple of years later when it was on at a late night cinema showing at university (with the sequel we think),  It relaunched the career of Collins, who was in her mid forties at the time, so her saucy scenes were much remarked upon at a time when only twenty something dolly birds made such films in Britain.  She appeared in the sequel, The Bitch, in 1979 and her performance in these two films led to her being hired for Dynasty.  Now, of course, A wants to watch these two dreadful (I seem to recall) London set disco era 'classics" so she has ordered them from Amazon. I will expect many rude comments about fashions of the day!  We intend to review them in our long ignored Venus in Motion blog in the near future!

Friday, August 19, 2016

World Photo Day Venus by Nicholas DeSciose

Today is World Photo Day, something that a blog that celebrates the work of many photographers cannot ignore.  Of course all the photographs we celebrate are of naked women but then as soon as photography was  invented people (well, Frenchman) started to capture naked women for posterity, thank goodness.  

Hand coloured stereographic nudes.  French C. 1849

Given the millions (probably billions) of images of naked women in existence (we have over 150,000 in our computer alone) it would be impossible to choose one image, so, instead, we have chosen a self portrait of a photographer whose work we particularly admire.

Denver based photographer Nicholas DeSciose did a lot of work for Oui and Playboy in the seventies and we featured one of his Lui centrefold pictorials a few years ago.   As a result, Mr DeSciose got in contact with Triple P and sent us this self portrait which we really like.  We hope he doesn't mind us posting it as a tribute to every photographer in history who has taken photographs of naked ladies!