Category Archives: XVIII Century Erotic Art

Water and Moral Rectitude in XVIII Century Painting

By mid 1700’s water is back with vengeance; and in the late XVIII century its use does not only concern itself with hygiene, but quickly gains the grounds in the social and political discourse: it is not just a bath … Continue reading

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The Voyeurs of Fragonard

There is so much silliness in art that when coming across a masterpiece I often hesitate. Fragonard! Fragonard, described by Edmond and Jules Goncourt as a “cupid of erotic painting,” whose models “illuminate with their nudity the alcove”, is that … Continue reading

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Painting Sausage for Louis XV

Jean Simeon Chardin started as a painter of still life. Around 1733 he switched over to portrait. His portraits are renown for their psychological intensity; and we could say that their stillness is the stillness of a still life. As … Continue reading

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Boucher’s Erotic Workshop

In the first pages of Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift tells us about his protagonist’s years of apprenticeship with a certain Master Bates. The joke is an old one. Why in the XVIII century Jonathan Swift decided to recycle medieval humor … Continue reading

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Pastoral Erotica and François Boucher

For a while I could not figure out what it was that Diderot found so objectionable in François Boucher: he scolded absolutely everything — color, composition and especially the subject matter; his biggest complaint was the lack of energy, which … Continue reading

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Buffet

To be admitted to the French XVIII century Royal Academy a painter had to paint one auto-portrait and two portraits of his colleagues. This is why there are so many of them at the Louvre. What if the painter’s specialty happened … Continue reading

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Virginity According to Boilly

Jean-Baptist Greuze puts a dead bird in the painting to grieve over the innocence lost; to Pierre-Léopold Boilly the same moment in the life of a woman means discovery of some extra joy; consequently, his bird is out of the … Continue reading

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Chronos and Eros

The erotic watch appears in the late XVII century. I guess by the shere monotony of its world view the Mechanical Revolution suggested sex; and I further guess that the incessant movement of all those portable time pieces could have … Continue reading

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Looking Under the Skirt of Marie-Antoinette

In 1772 Peter Kintzing, a watch-maker, David Roentgen, a furniture maker, plus 24 other artisans, created this automaton whose features strikingly resemble those of Marie-Antoinette. The rumor has it that the hair on the doll is that of the queen, … Continue reading

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Versailles Porcelain

On 16 May Chateau Versailles began to exhibit some of the porcelain pieces of Sèvres that used to be in the royal collection: today the royal porcelain is scattered all over the world and only occasionally we see it reunited in a … Continue reading

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