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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Harem Venus: Odalisque by Francesco Paolo Michetti

Odalisque (1873)

Agent Triple P is off to Constantinople for a week, where he is looking forward to getting reacquainted with his particular friend B, who he has not seen for several years.  She has promised to show him some new belly-dancing moves!  We will not be able to post while we are there, probably.

Self portrait (1877)

In the meantime, here is a Turkish-style odalisque (the lowest grade of girl in the harem) by Italian painter Francesco Paolo Michetti (1851-1929)  Michetti originated in the Abruzzo region of Italy and after studying at the Academia in Naples moved to Paris to continue his studies, exhibiting at the 1872 Paris Salon.  In 1883 he bought an old convent building, back in Abruzzo, as his studio and home and took much of his inspiration from the local people and landscape.  He also exhibited in Milan, Naples, Berlin and at the first Venice Bienalle.  For the last twenty years of his life he lived as a virtual recluse and stopped exhibiting. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

St George's Day Venus: Melissa Debling

It is St George's Day today, not that most English people know it. Although there have been recent campaigns to make the celebration of our national day as high profile as St Andrew's, St Patrick's and St David's Days a petition to make the day a national holiday only attracted 4266 signatures.

Why don't we bother?  Some say that our identity as British supersedes our need to celebrate our English identity (something which our Celtic cousins get very exercised about).  When searching for a picture for this post, far more young ladies were shown posing with the British Union flag than the English one, despite searching "England").  You wouldn't get a Scotsman posing with the Union flag to celebrate St Andrew's day!  

Even finding a St George's Day Venus was difficult but here is 26 year old English model Melissa Debling from Kent.  Who wouldn't want to celebrate such a pleasing figure?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Nineteen thirties Venus: Preparations for the ball

We always find that those pictures from a time when being photographed nude was considered very risque indeed, have a particular frisson.  We respond to this one because of its everyday nature and the 'inadvertant' nature of the display.  A young lady is putting on her knickers in preparation for going out to a dance.  The blurring of her underwear just adds to its immediacy.

It is a French photograph from 1932.  Delicieuse!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Personally Selected Venus 7: African Venus by Uwe Ommer

Another one off picture which we really like, of an African girl in the desert.  Apart from the curviness of the model herself and her amusing hair style we respond to the white sand and rocks and the hint of a palm tree.  She looks like a Nubian princess ordering her people about!

The picture was taken by German photographer Uwe Ommer.  Starting out as a fashion and advertising photographer, Ommer did a lot of nude photography (he even shot a girl/girl pictorial for Penthouse which appeared in 1981) in the eighties and early nineties, often specialising in ethnic subjects.  Photographing dark skin is notoriously difficult to do but he certainly mastered it and presented it in his book Black Ladies (1987) from which this picture comes.  Latterly he has been working on photographs of ordinary people around the world. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Centrefold Venus of the Month 50: Christine Davray, July 1977

Time for another centrefold of the month and this time it is one of our favourites from Penthouse from the late seventies (is 1977 late seventies or mid-seventies?) Christine Davray from France.  Here she is in her assertively sexual centrefold.

We admit that we didn't have this Penthouse at the time.  It came out in the period before we were old enough to buy men's magazines directly, so we didn't discover Miss Davray until we first looked at the Penthouse website back in the nineties. 

The first photographs in the pictorial are a collection of very small images so they don't all enlarge very well.  Altogether, there are 23 images in Christine's pictorial which is a lot for the time. 

Penthouse had moved on from the days when their pictorials were shot in Bob Guccione's London apartment or in gloomy Surrey.  Christine's pictorial was shot in Kenya and we have a number of travelogue-type pictures at the beginning of the piece of her on the beach, in the bush and with some Masai tribesmen. 

In more than half of her photos Christine is dressed but we do get this early small shot of her lovely pussy between her solid but toned thighs.  Her bottom and legs are quite splendid.  The text reported that she was a dancer turned actress and, as we will discover, this was certainly true.

Here we have her displayed in a dug out canoe in a couple of sort of X-certificate National Geographic shots.   Does the boatman have any idea of what is going on behind his back?

Here is a variant of her centrefold shot, as she sprawls in abandon in the shallows.  The photographer for this shoot was top French lensman Jean-Yves Haydar (1939-1996) who, Penthouse, unusually, admitted, was her husband.  This was the second of only two pictorials Haydar shot for the magazine.  He had also shot non-centrefold Juliana van Troost back in 1973.  

Haydar could have shot  a lot more for Penthouse.  Bob Guccione liked  Haydar's photographs and invited him and Christine to London.  Guccione offered Haydar the opportunity to be Penthouse's director in France but after months dealing with Penthouse's New York lawyer nothing came of the idea.

The remainder of Christine's photographs are taken inside, rather than in the bush or on the coast.  This one features the splendidly brief denim shorts she is wearing in some of the travelogue shots.  

The final three shots in the pictorial feature Christine's very excited looking labia and a very bold, for the time, pussy probing picture.  The fact that the photographer was her husband actually adds to the erotic nature of this set for Triple P.  She told the press many years later, that the shoot had been very "romantic".  That's one word for it!

Here we have some outtakes from the shoot.  Firstly, outside on the coast.  There aren't many bare busted shots of Christine so the nude in the sea is splendid.  The one in the dug-out canoe shows how delightfully perky her nipples are!

here is an even more assertive version of her centrefold shot.

This mirror shot is unique as it doesn't have an equivalent anywhere else in the pictorial.

Another pair of her in the denim shorts.  She really does carry these off well.  Definitely Triple P's favourite outfit in the pictorial.

She certainly does have lovely prominent labia which she is quite happy to display.

These white stockings don't appear in the magazine pictorial, either.  In the text accompanying the article it says she was twenty-six years old.  She looks rather older and, in fact, she was thirty when this pictorial was published, although it's nice to see an older woman in the magazine.

A young Christine does ballet

Unlike many Penthouse centrefolds of the period we do know quite a lot about Christine.   She was born Marie Christine Auféril in Besançon, in Eastern France, in 1947.  She was bought up by her family in a tiny apartment in the notorious Pigalle district of Paris.  She had her first brush with fame at the age of nine when a neighbour told her parents that they were looking for a young girl to appear in Luis Buñuel's film  Cela s'appelle l'aurore  (1956).  Christine got the part.  Despite her parents financial worries she took dance classes.

A nineteen year old Christine

Wanting to be an actress she studied theatre, did some TV appearances from 1966 and earned money in her spare time by posing as a nude model for artists.  This led to her first film appearance in 1967 in a short film sponsored by the French Federation of  Naturism.  She was entirely naked throughout, naturally.

Christine at the Crazy Horse Saloon 1968

Leaving her ballet behind her (at 5'7" she would have been too tall) she was recruited as a nude dancer at the Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris.

Christine and Jean-Yves Haydar at the premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey in September 1968

Christine had been moving in show business circles and even had a brief fling with Alain Delon but one day she was walking to work for a rehearsal for a lingerie show at the Crazy Horse and bumped into Jean-Yves Haydar outside a shoe shop.  He invited her to attend the French premier of 2001: A Space Odyssey and they stayed together until his death in 1996.  They had a son in 1972, so she was already a mother when she posed for Penthouse. 

From Dutch magazine Lach 69 (1969)

Escort (1969)

Christine appeared in her first men's magazines from 1969, in pictures shot by her husband, whose career as  a photographer was taking off.  He shot portraits and news too, covering conflicts in places like Beirut.

Here she is in Exclusive magazine, also from 1969 and looking like she is carrying a bit more weight.

In 1969 she appeared in the film À propos de la femme (Le Francesi si Confessano in Italy).  She starred as the wife of a man where they both are bored with their lives so decide to pursue extra-marital affairs before realising that they prefer each other after all.  She started using the name Christine Davray for her film credits and dropped Auféril.

Swashbuckling in Zenabel (1969) and with Lionel Stander

The same year she appeared in the Italian period comedy Zenabel alongside Lionel (Hart to Hart) Stander.

In 1970 she appeared in the French magazine Le Nouvel Adam's August issue, using the name Christine Davray, for her first colour pictorial.  The pictures were taken by her husband, of course, who had her pose completely naked in the French countryside.

Like many glamour models of the seventies she appeared on a paperback thriller cover.  This example was from 1974 and was one of the huge series (200 novels written over fifty years) written by French author Gérard de Villiers about his James Bond like hero.  The SAS does not refer to the British special forces unit but are the initials for the French title His Serene Highness (the hero, Malko Linge, is an Austrian aristocrat).

With the birth of her son in 1972 she dropped out of the public eye but in April 1976 she appeared in Mayfair magazine, where they claimed she was from Aberdeen although a more French-looking woman you cannot imagine.

Christine fronts up some Turkish magazines

In 1979, after two years of business problems for Christine and her husband, they left Paris for Istanbul.   Haydar was the grandson of brother of the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and his family had fled Turkey when Kemal Atatürk came to power in the nineteen twenties.  His grandfather had given his name to the district of Haydarpasa on the Asian side of Istanbul, where Florence Nightingale served in the hospital during the Crimean War.  Agent Triple P has arrived at the splendid station, commissioned by Haydar's grandfather, there several times on the train from Ankara.  Nervous about returning to Turkey he was received at the highest level and his glamourous wife made a big impact, partly because of her notorious photographic past.  Within a couple of years she became the most well-known French person in Turkey.

 Front cover, gatefold and rear cover of her LP

She started performing as a singer and toured Turkey.  In 1980 she recorded a cover of that year's Turkish Eurovision Song contest entry, Petrol, in a more seductive, bellydance style than the original by Turkish superstar Ajda Pekkan. Apparently the two had something of a bust up when Davray pointed out that she was younger than Pekkan which, we suspect, wasn't true anyway. The LP also featured a number of other French and international songs and the cover was illustrated with pictures of an enticingly shot Christine.

In Sarisin Tehlike (1980)

In 1980 she co-starred in a Turkish film Sarisin Tehlike (blonde trouble) as Kristin Haydar.  She spent a lot of time in it in a swimsuit and sang a couple of songs.  She had now reverted to the bottle blonde look of her Crazy Horse days.

The same year she made her first appearance in the Italian Playboy clone, Playmen, in another set of revealing photographs by her husband. She was now thirty three years old.

In 1981 Playmen published this picture in their October issue.

She became more and more well known in Turkey, regularly performing as a singer in cabaret around the country.

In 1983 she made her second and final film in Turkey, Bedel (The Price).

With her husband in Le Figaro (1982)

She was much better known in Turkey than she was in her native France but that fact itself generated a number of articles back home, elaborating on her fame in Turkey.   So she became famous for being famous, in a way.

 With Omar Sharif

Early in her career she was hailed as the new Brigitte Bardot but despite her talents. looks and superb figure her celebrity was confined to Turkey.  Her trail goes cold after the mid-eighties.

However, after the death of her husband in 1996 she returned to the writing she had always indulged in and published a novel called Simone,  in 1999, which was set in Montmartre in the nineteen fifties.  It won a literary prize in France.

Christine is approaching seventy now but is still a very fine looking woman and still has those cheekbones.   1977 was a strong year for Pets but Christine remains one of our favourites, not just from this year, but the late seventies.