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

Monday, January 30, 2017

Non-centrefold Venus of the Month 37: Serena, September 1976

Men Only

Time for another non-centrefold of the month and here we have Serena, in a rather fetching black basque and stockings. This is what my particular friend Sophie would call 'chaise longue wear' as it is the sort of ensemble she wears when lounging on her chaise longue, probably while drinking a martini and eating cashew nuts!  In fact, there is quite a lot of essence of Sophie in this picture!

Serena appeared in Volume 41 number 9 of Men Only, for September 1976.  Hard to process the fact that these girls are probably in their sixties now!  I wonder if they hide this part of their lives or whether they proudly recognise how gorgeous and uninhibited they were more than forty years ago?  A month later, pictures of Serena appeared. in the usual fashion at the time, in Club in the US.  We also like the cover girl, Letty, with her nice puffy nipples and will post her shortly.


I will post pictures from both the Men Only and Club pictorials as there are some differences between the two.  Although this shot appeared in Men Only the Club version, here, offers a glimpse of Serena's labia which were darkened into invisibility in the UK version.  Serena looks like a French lady of the demi-monde in her boudoir, or expensive brothel, in this set.


In similar fashion to the disappearing labia, the Men Only version of this shot didn't make Serena's anus quite so visible as in the Club version here.  Despite the promise of her dark arsehole it is Serena's lovely eyes I respond to in this one.  She is quite mesmerising.

Men Only


Men Only claimed that Serena wass an usherette at the cinema whereas Club said that she was a Turkish belly dancer, more exotically.


Apart from the fact that most belly dancers in Turkey aren't actually Turkish, a Turkish lady is unlikely to possess a full bush. Thjs effective shot appeared in both magazines.

Men Only

This last Men Oly shot has a strong pussy/finger interface for the magazine at the time and Serena looks deliciously like a young Monica Bellucci.  The photographer of this set was none other than Bob Carlos Clarke (1950-2006), later a world famous fashion and portrait photographer and really the creator of sleek , glossy fetish photography.  He sold picture sets like this to help pay his way while at art college. You can read more about him on one of our posts about a Club International centrefold.


He rarely used professional models, so Serena is likely to be a friend or someone he approached on the street, as he did regularly.  It also means that she may be British.



These final two shots, which only appeared in Club, have Serena boldly displaying herself in a way that she didn't in Men Only.  I like Serena's sultry insouciance and Carlos Clarke's limited pallete, which is almost like colourised sepia, with only the splashes of red and burgundy relieving the beige and tan. 

More from Men Only/Club soon.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Classical Venus: Danaë by Paul Ludwig Kowalczewski

Danaë (1900)

This sensuous bronze is by Paul Ludwig Kowalczewski who was born in Mielżyn in Poland in 1865.  From 1895 he studied in Berlin and spent the rest of his life there. He specialised in bronze figures, often with a classical theme. He died in 1910.

In Greek myth, Danaë was the daughter and only child of King Acrisius of Argos, who longed for a son and heir. He went to the oracle at Delphi who not only told him that he would never have a son but that Danaë's son would kill him.  To prevent any chance of pregnancy he kept her locked in an underground chamber (or a tower, depending on the version of the story).  Zeus took a fancy to her and came to her in the form of a golden rain which could enter the small skylight in her chamber.  He entered Danaë as well and she gave birth to a son, Perseus,  As a result. King Acrisius, unwilling to anger the gods by killing his grandson, set his daughter and Perseus adrift at sea in a box.  This story forms the basis of the opening of the last Ray Harryhausen film Clash of the Titans (1981).  After many adventures in exile, including killing the Gorgon and rescuing Andromeda, Perseus headed home to Argo, stopping off to take part in athletic games at Larissa. During a discus (or javelin) competition his throw went off course and killed  King Acrisius, a spectator at the games, thus fulfilling the oracle's prophecy.

Like the myth of Leda and the Swan, the legend of Danaë presented artists with an excellent excuse to depict ecstatic looking women; something that Kowalczewski certainly achieved here

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Venus from the Rear 6: A Venetian Bather by Paul Peel (1860-1892)

A Venetian Bather (1889)

Paul Peel was possibly the first Canadian painter who gained a European reputation and spent much of his time there (mainly in Paris), rather than in his native country.  He was born in London, Ontario in 1860 to English born parents.  His father was a stone carver and drawing teacher and Peel flourished artistically as a youngster, winning his first prize at the age of fifteen.  At the age of sixteen he was accepted at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.  He returned home in 1880 before travelling to Paris where he studied under Gérôme.  Back in Canada in 1883 his paintings were exhibited in Toronto and Montreal before he returned to Europe.  He met and married a Danish painter and while visiting her homeland in 1886 sold a picture to Princess Alexandra, the Danish wife of the Prince of Wales.  Having painted mainly landscapes and portraits he started to work on nudes in the late 1880s of which this one, The  Venetian Bather (1889) is the best known.  He became the first Canadian painter to produce nudes and this picture is a successful mix of the sensuous and the academic and, indeed, the classical.  Her pose, with her wight on one leg, turns her body into a sinuous curve.

The Little Shepherdess (1892)

This painting, The Little Shepherdess, shows, in the background his increasing interest in impressionism, rather than the more academic style he had learned in Paris.  Peel painted a number of pictures of naked children: often in bathing scenes.  They were, of course quite innocent and are exercises in tone and lighting more than anything else. Although The Little Shepherdess (which I have seen in the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto) looks equally innocent, Victorian viewers would have been well aware that the depiction of the girl's toe in the water indicates that she has lost her virginity and is, therefore, a girl who has become a woman.  Peel died, probably of flu, in Paris not long after this painting was exhibited, at the age of 31, his promise not yet really realised. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Chronicles of Triple P: 1979 - Rubber, Candles and Duvets

I have just posted the next episode of my erotic recollections here.  Here is the staircase entrance at my college which led to the law library, the chocolate vending machine the Junior Common Room, TV room and the most luxurious bathroom in college.  I took this picture when I went back to college last month.  Nothing much has changed, though.

One change I did notice was that there were now security doors on what were the first year girls' staircases.  It was on these stairs that I sat and waited for K in this episode.  I was literally standing underneath C's former room when I took this picture.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Non-centrefold Venus of the Month 27: Daphne, November 1977

During the coming year I am going to try to post rather more centrefolds and non-centrefold pictorials from men's magazines than I have done in the recent past.  I have got rather behind with these, so need to start filling the gaps in my list in the right sidebar of the blog.  These do, however, take a long time to format, especially if there are a lot of pictures, as the major magazines like Penthouse featured.

Some of the other magazines, however, went for fewer pictures in number but larger images.  Chic was certainly like this in its early years and that style carried back to stablemate Hustler, as well, from 1976.  So here, from November 1977, we have Daphne. in a pictorial that consists of just six photographs. 

Daphne is photographed by James Baes in characteristic style, using mirrored surfaces to project patches of light.  Although Daphne is posed on an ornate bed we suspect the pictures were taken outside in bright sunlight, rather than indoors.

Baes uses the uprights of the golden bedstead to frame her assertively spread pussy in many of the shots.  1977 had seen the increase of shots of the girls touching their pussies and, in particular, spreading their (increasingly) pink and moist looking labia; something which Daphne certainly goes in for in her pictorial.

It is particularly nice to have a couple of photographs of Daphne smiling in this set.  It's also nice to have her mostly barefoot.  Far too many men's magazines pictorials have their girls in bed wearing shoes, something I can't understand at all!

This is the only shot of Daphne not on the bed but on the floor instead.  Curiously, she has one leg through her knickers in this and a couple of the other shots here.

The final double page spread of Daphne has her spreading her pink labia and looking ecstatic.   Of all the ladies I have observed playing with their bits none of them have ever done this!  Disappointingly, she is wearing shoes in bed but she compensates for this with the nice white stockings.

Fortunately, we have a number of outtakes from the pictorial which add to the six published in the magazine.  The first one is the full version of the cropped image of Daphne on the floorboards in the bright sun.   In the second one she has removed one shoe.  I'm very happy to see girls in sexy shoes on the floor, just not in bed!

Now she is in bed, still wearing one shoe, like Jason from the Greek legend of the Argonauts.  Oddly, she seems to have picked it up from where she discarded it on the floor to be next to her in bed.  Perhaps, like my friend S she really, really likes playing with new shoes!

Daphne is penetrating herself with her finger here in a pose the magazines tended to avoid as it was likely to attract the expensive necessity, in some states (and Canada), of printing black dots over the offending probing digit.  It wouldn't have been allowed in Britain at the time either.  Lots of furniture included in the background here, to add glamour to the set.

Baes has framed Daphne's pussy in a feature of the furniture again here.  One of his reflected highlight effects adding to the isolation of her vulva and anus in this shot of her posed on a chair. 

Here is Daphne framed by the gold bedstead with the photo immediately above being almost (but not quite) identical to the one which appeared in the magazine.  We can see that the furniture is being moved around to suit each shot rather than being a record of an actual room.  All is artifice.  Daphne's face looks quite hot and sweaty in some of these pictures, as though the location is really warm. 

The final two shots are pretty unprecedented for pictures taken during a shoot for a mainstream men's magazine in the seventies, with Daphne unequivocally penetrating her own anus with her finger.  It would be several decades before we got a shot like this in a published newsstand available magazine and even then it would be very rare.

So while, in some ways, a typical James Baes effort for Hustler this one benefits from its limited palette of white, gold and flesh, a nicely hot (in every way) model and some surprising self penetration.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Lust World Chapter 10: "Now you have completely ruined my plan by choosing to accompany him!"

You can read the next episode of my erotic adventure story The Lust World here.  Chapter background notes on it are here.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Swirling Venuses by Giovanni Boldini

We posted a sensual picture of a couple by, largely forgotten but for a time hugely fashionable, Italian painter Giovanni Boldini over on the Seduction of Venus last summer.  Today we are going to look at some of his lovely nudes.

Boldini was born in Ferrara in 1842 and was trained in the traditional Renaissance style by his father, also an artist.  He showed great talent at an early age and was soon studying with other artists as well, before moving to Florence and studying at the Scuola del Nudo, part of the Accademia di Belle arti di Firenze, although he didn't attend classes regularly.

Nudo di donna seduta (C. 1882)

While in Florence he got to know group of artists known as the Macchiaioli, the Italian equivalent of the French impressionists, who were rejecting the traditional teaching of Italian art schools and were starting to do many of their paintings outdoors.  To them, the key elements of a painting were the areas of light and shade or macchie and although Boldini wasn't a formal follower of the movement their influence can be see in the bold contrasts in his paintings.

Boldini quickly built a reputation for his portraits which were a lucrative genre for him.  He kept studying and travelled to Germany, France, Holland and England, where he did a number of portraits of aristocratic ladies such as the Duchess of Westminster, while undertaking commission work.

Reclining nude on a day bed (1900)

In 1872 he moved to Paris, where he lived until his death.  He became a friend of Edgar Degas and painted his portrait, as well as those of other painters of the time such as Whistler, Toulouse-Lautrec and Sargent.

His fame was cemented when he was commissioned to do a portrait of composer Giuseppe Verdi.  This introduced him to the world of opera which resulted in more commissions of singers and actresses, including Sarah Bernhardt.

Lina Cavalieri by Boldini (1901)

Pierro Fornasetti (1913-1988) with his Lina plates

One singer he painted several times was the sultry soprano Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944), known at the time as "the most beautiful woman in the world" and the subject of hundreds of photographs.  You may recognise her image from a series of artworks done by Italian artist Piero Fornasetti who became obsessed with her in the fifties and I have seen reproductions of the plates he did of her in many a trendy hotel.

Cavalieri was a fashion icon and was at the forefront of the really tightly laced corset look at the beginning of the twentieth century.  She was also famous for her lovers and this provocative drawing by Boldini is supposed to be her, so their relationship may have been rather more than that of artist and model.

Portrait of Giovinetta Errazuriz (1892)

Boldini sometimes painted the children of his clients and this portrait of ten year old Giovinetta Errazuriz, the daughter of a prominent Chilean in Exile in Paris,  has the young lady looking grown up and assertive.  Boldini has her in a young child's bonnet and an adult woman's cape.  To the consternation of the  attendees of the Venice Biennale in 1897 she is showing a slice of thigh above her stocking. This caused a major scandal but was probably just Boldini indicating that she was an innocent who was, nevertheless, becoming a woman.  The elongated treatment of limbs and body is typical of Boldini's flowing style to the extent that he was known as the "king of swish".

Most of Boldini's paintings were in oils but here is a lively and provocative watercolour, demonstrating his rapid, loose brushwork very well.

Although Boldini had always painted nudes, towards the end of his life, when he no longer needed the money from constant portraits to sustain him, he returned to the subject almost exclusively.

His figures now, unusually, often depicted pubic hair but many of these pictures were painted for his own enjoyment rather than to be exhibited.

The inclusion of models wearing stockings also took them out of the purely academic arena and into something more enticing.

His drawing style became looser and looser but he is still paying attention to the macchie in his pictures.

His paintings, too, in the twenties got more and more impressionistic with the backgrounds becoming just patches of colour enthusiastically applied.

Eventually even the colour started to disappear as Boldini's eyesight began to deteriorate.  The paintings are becoming more and more exercises in light and shade.

 Young lady entering the bath

In the bath

These two bathing girls show that he had not lost his ability to render lovely female forms but show that their surroundings are only vaguely depicted.  Without knowing that both paintings have 'bath' in the title it would be difficult to work out what was going on.

Boldini didn't date his canvasses so it is difficult, except in a few cases to date them accurately.

Certainly, these canvases are from the last few years of his life, with the girl in black stockings dating to 1930.  A lifelong bachelor he got married in 1929 at the age of 86.  He died of pneumonia in July 1931 at the age of 88

Marthe de Florian

Forgotten for decades, he was back in the news in 2010.   One of his lovers was an actress called Marthe de Florian (1864-1939).  A lady of a certain reputation, she was also the lover of two presidents and two prime ministers of France, including Georges Clemenceau. She had an apartment in Paris and it was inherited by her granddaughter who fled the city in 1940 when the Germans invaded.  She never returned to the apartment and on her death, at the age of 91, in 2010 the apartment was opened for the first time in seventy years to reveal a time capsule of early twentieth century France and this portrait of Marthe de Florian by Boldini, together with a love letter from him to Marthe.  The portrait is typical of Boldini's flowing, sensual style and when it was sold at auction realised a record price for the artist of £1.78 million.