Category Archives: gratuitous nudity

A nude woman isn’t indecent

Via peeking into Art/Porn: A History of Seeing and Touching (mentioned in previous post[1]) come Diderot’s thoughts on the difference between decency and indecency, or, by extension, the difference between erotica and pornography. According to Diderot, “it is the difference between a woman who is seen and a woman who exhibits herself.”

Here are Diderot’s thoughts in full from an unidentified translation:

“A nude woman isn’t indecent. It’s the lavishly decked out woman who is. Imagine the Medici Venus is standing in front of you, and tell me if her nudity offends you. But shoe this Venus’ feet with two little embroidered slippers. Dress her in tight white stockings secured at the knee with rose-colored garters. Place a chic little hat on her head, and you’ll feel the difference between decent and indecent quite vividly. It’s the difference between a woman seen and a woman displaying herself. (translator unidentified[2], probably John Goodman)

French original:

“Une femme nue n’est point indécente. C’est une femme troussée qui l’est. Supposez devant vous la Vénus de Médicis, et dites-moi si sa nudité vous offensera. Mais chaussez les pieds de cette Vénus de deux petites mules brodées. Attachez sur son genou avec des jarretières couleur de rose un bas blanc bien tiré. Ajustez sur sa tête un bout de cornette, et vous sentirez fortement la différence du décent et de l’indécent. C’est la différence d’une femme qu’on voit et d’une femme qui se montre.”

Please do not take Diderot too seriously when it comes to eroticism, I’ve previously written on Diderot’s hypocrisy. In my view, if it isn’t indecent, it isn’t erotic. That is why I do not consider many pieces of erotic art, erotic at all since they do not provoke erotic arousal. Shame is the most powerful aphrodisiac.

Gratuitous nudity #18

Liebeszauber (c. 1470, Magic of Love) is an Early Netherlandish painting depicting a nude woman casting a love spell over a young man who is about to enter her room. The painting is housed at the Leipzig, Museum der Künste. The woman has a tight pelvis, wide waist circumference and small breasts.

See love magic, anonymous masters, love spells, female body shape and Early Netherlandish painting.

More love magic in art and literature:

“A wild centaur named Nessus attempted to kidnap Deianira, but she was rescued by Heracles, who shot the centaur with a poisoned arrow. As he lay dying, Nessus lied to Deianira, telling her that a mixture of olive oil with the semen that he had dropped on the ground and his heart’s blood would ensure that Heracles would never again be unfaithful. ”

“Tristan goes to Ireland to bring back the fair Iseult for his uncle King Mark to marry. Along the way, they accidentally ingest a love potion that causes the pair to fall madly in love. In the “courtly” version, the potion’s effects last for a lifetime; in the “common” versions, however, the potion’s effects wane after three years.

“The opening of this comic opera finds Nemorino, a poor peasant, in love with Adina, a beautiful landowner, who torments Nemorino with her indifference. When Nemorino hears Adina reading to her workers the story of Tristan and Isolde, he is convinced that a magic potion will gain Adina’s love for him. The traveling quack salesman, Dulcamara arrives, Nemorino innocently asks Dulcamara if he has anything like Isolde’s love potion. Dulcamara says he does, selling it to Nemorino at a price matching the contents of Nemorino’s pockets. Unknown to Nemorino, the bottle contains only wine. ”

Gratuitous nudity #17

Gratuitous nudity #17

via www.vintagesleaze.com Cinema X Cinema X was a british film magazine best known for its coverage of sexploitation films. Early issues of the magazine were undated, but it is believed the first issue was published in 1969. The first film to grace the cover of Cinema X was Loving Feeling directed by Norman J. Warren.  Other films covered in the first issue were I Am Curious (Yellow), Curse of the Crimson Altar and Therese and Isabelle, people interviewed in the premiere issue included Norman J Warren, John Trevelyan and Anthony Newley. Related:  Continental Film Review British exploitation Sexploitation film slicks 1963–1973 Erotic film magazine British sex film Bachoo Sen

via www.vintagesleaze.com

Cinema X was a british film magazine best known for its coverage of sexploitation films. Early issues of the magazine were undated, but it is believed the first issue was published in 1969. The first film to grace the cover of Cinema X was Loving Feeling directed by Norman J. Warren. Other films covered in the first issue were I Am Curious (Yellow), Curse of the Crimson Altar and Therese and Isabelle, people interviewed in the premiere issue included Norman J Warren, John Trevelyan and Anthony Newley.

Related:

Introducing Lisa Yuskavage

Introducing Lisa Yuskavage

Lisa Yuskavage (1999) by Katy Siegel [Amazon.com]
[FR] [DE] [UK]

I’ve mentioned the work of Yuskavage several times[1] [2][3][4][5] before but never dedicated a post to her.

Lisa Yuskavage (Born May 16, 1962 in Philadelphia) is a contemporary American figurative painter. She is a controversial painter with loaded subject matter such as that has been referred to as “outrageous quasi-pornographic sirens” and “anatomically impossible bimbos” as they mock the male desires of male fantasy.

Yuskavage is classified as a new figurative painter, to which American artists such as John Currin and Graydon Parrish also belong.

Lisa Yuskavage attended Tyler School of Art and received her MFA from Yale in 1986 but came to prominence in the mid-nineties in a series of seminal museum shows “Figure as Fiction” (1993) Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; “My Little Pretty” (1997) Museum of contemporary Art, Chicago; “Presumed Innocence” (1997) “Pop Surrealism” (1998) Aldrich Museum; “The Nude in Contemporary Art” (1999).

Celluloid @140

Celluloid @140

Birthday of celluloid

Celluloid Capers

On this day April 6, 1869, celluloid is patented. Since then, celluloid has become metonymical with cinema. The word can also be found in the title of the French/American record label Celluloid Records and in the title of the Anglophone gay film book The Celluloid Closet.

Celluloid Capers was a sex film magazine à la Cinesex, Sex Stars System and Continental Film Review.

André Pieyre de Mandiargues @100

Yesterday would have been André Pieyre de Mandiargues‘s 100th birthday, had he not died in 1991.

Some quick finds:

Les Incongruités Monumentales by André Pieyre de Mandiargues by you.

Les Incongruités monumentales, Robert Laffont, 1948.

The Devil's Kisses, anthology edited by Linda Lovecraft

Featuring his story “The Diamond”Catelogue of Bellmer engravings prefaced by Les Incongruités Monumentales by André Pieyre de Mandiargues

Prefaced by Mandiargues

Le Merveilleux by Les Incongruités Monumentales by André Pieyre de Mandiargues

Arcimboldo le merveilleux, Robert Laffont, 1977.

His story La Marée and the 1967 novel La Marge were both made into film by Polish film director Walerian Borowczyk and it is de Mandiargues’s collection of pornographic items that is featured in Borowczyk’s Une collection particulière . He wrote several prefaces, amongst others to  Pauline Réage‘s Story of O and a catalogue raisonné of Hans Bellmer engravings.

La Motocyclette by Mandiargues

La Motocyclette

His novella La Motocyclette was the basis for Jack Cardiff‘s The Girl on a Motorcycle. He was also the author of works of non-fiction, such as a photography book devoted to Bomarzo entitled Les Monstres de Bomarzo and a book on Arcimboldo. His stories are collected in Le Musée Noir [The Black Museum] (1946) and Soleil des Loups [The Sun Of The Wolves] (1951).

His book Feu de braise (1959) was published in 1971 in an English translation by April FitzLyon called Blaze of Embers (Calder and Boyars, 1971).

One of his most controversial books is L’Anglais décrit dans le château fermé (1953).

Salute to Bacchus

Today is the feast of the Roman god Bacchus, known by the Greeks as the Greek god Dionysus. In my hometown Sint Niklaas, there used to be a bar called Bacchus. That was in the late seventies and early eighties.

I had to wait until the 1990s and the first issue of Wired Magazine to be properly introduced to Bacchus via Camille Paglia’s interview on her recently published Sexual Personae in which Paglia mentions the Nietzschean dichotomy of Apollonian and Dionysian.

Popular perceptions of Dionysus and Bacchus

Dionysus was seen as the god of everything uncivilized, of the innate wildness of humanity that the Athenians had tried to control. The Dionysia was probably a time to let out their inhibitions through highly emotional tragedies or irreverent comedies. During the pompe there was also an element of role-reversal – lower-class citizens could mock and jeer the upper classes, or women could insult their male relatives. This was known as aischrologia – αἰσχρολογία or tothasmos, a concept also found in the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Bacchus is less wel documented in text, but all the better in painting (Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio). His name is connected with bacchanalia, a term in moderate usage today to indicate any drunken feast; drunken revels; as well as binges and orgies, whether literally or figuratively.

Bacchanal by Rubens

Rubens

Bacchanalia

The bacchanalia were wild and mystic festivals of the Roman and Greek god Bacchus. Introduced into Rome from lower Italy by way of Etruria (c. 200 BC), the bacchanalia were originally held in secret and only attended by women.

Bacchanalia by Auguste (Maurice François Giuslain) Léveque  The Bacchanalia were traditionally held on March 16 and March 17

The festivals occurred on three days of the year in a grove near the Aventine Hill, on March 16 and March 17. Later, admission to the rites was extended to men and celebrations took place five times a month. According to Livy, the extension happened in an era when the leader of the Bacchus cult was Paculla Annia.

Cornelis de Vos Triumph of Bacchus

Cornelis de Vos

Paculla Annia

Paculla Annia was a priestess from the southern Italy who, according to Livy, largely changed the rules of Bacchanalias so that regarding nothing as impious or forbidden became the very sum of Bacchuscult. In the rites, men were said to have shrieked out prophecies in an altered state of consciousness with frenzied bodily convulsions. Women, dressed as Bacchantes, with hair dishevelled, would run down to the Tiber with burning torches, plunge them into the water, and take them out again. The rites gradually turned into sexual orgies, particularly among the men, and men who refused to take part were sacrificed. It is said these men were fastened to a machine and taken to hidden caves, where it was claimed they were kidnapped by the gods.

Prohibition by the Roman Senate

The festivities were reported to the Roman Senate which authorized a full investigation. In 186 BC, the Senate passed a strict law (the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus) prohibiting the Bacchanalia except under specific circumstances which required the approval of the Senate. Violators were to be executed.

Pierre Bourgeade III

Plexus with a contribution by Pierre Bourgeade

Plexus (? – ?)

Plexus was a French language magazine, started under the auspices of Planète science fiction magazine to which the late Pierre Bourgeade contributed.

Planète (The Planet) was a French fantastic realism magazine created by Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels. It ran from 1961 to 1972.

See also: plexus, http://journaux-anciens.chapitre.com/PLEXUS.html

Gratuitous nudity #16

Gratuitous nudity #16

The Naked Venus by you.

The Naked Venus

The Naked Venus is a 1959 nudist film directed by American director Edgar G. Ulmer*. With Patricia Conelle, Don Roberts, Arianne Ulmer.

The current entry of gratuitous nudity does not even feature nudity … only hints at it (see innuendo). Can’t be careful enough these days! Ask the Undead Film Critic.

*Edgar G. Ulmer (19041972) was an AustrianAmerican film director. He is best remembered for the movies The Black Cat (1934) and Detour (1945). These stylish and eccentric works have achieved cult status, but Ulmer’s other films remain relatively unknown.