Nudes and some classical motives in art history

The nude painting has been a most important subject since the beginning of the art history. Sometimes it caused scandals for different reasons, but more or less the painting or drawing of the nude body (mostly female) hasn’t been in question for centuries – it’s common praxis for a painter in the european cultural environment.

Above you see Edouard Manet‘s Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) – originally titled The Bath (Le Bain). It caused a major scandal at the Salon des Refusés in 1863 in Paris – though not because of the fact there was a nude woman but for the two fully dressed dandies sitting with her in the grass LOL! This unusual subject and the later “impressionistic” called style of painting caused lot’s of rumour and made Manet famous despite himself.
At the same time, Manet’s composition reveals his study of the old masters, as the disposition of the main figures is derived from Marcantonio Raimondis engraving Judgement of Paris (1515) after his copy from a drawing by Raphael.

In 1865 Manet‘s Olympia stirred an even bigger uproar when it was first exhibited at the Paris Salon. Conservatives condemned the work as “immoral” and “vulgar.” Journalist Antonin Proust later recalled,

“If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration.”

As he had in Luncheon on the Grass, Manet again paraphrased a respected work by a Renaissance artist in the painting Olympia (1863), whose pose was based on Titian‘s Venus of Urbino (1538). It depicts a nude young woman, identified with the goddess Venus, which in turn refers to Giorgione‘s Sleeping Venus (1510). The classic work that most closely resembles Manet’s in character is Francisco Goya‘s La maja desnuda (about 1800). It is sometimes said to be the first clear depiction of female pubic hair in Western art – however Lucas Cranach‘s painting ‘The Nymph of the Spring’ from around 1539 seems to show pubic hair as well.

Another Venus, the The Rokeby Venus (also known as Venus at her Mirror, Venus and Cupid, orLa Venus del espejo’) by Diego Velázquez (completed between 1647 and 1651) represents a further well-known pose in the history of painting.
It is the only surviving female nude by Velázquez, and one of only two such paintings in 17th-century Spanish art, which was often censored by the Spanish Inquisition. It was innovative in showing an athletic female nude form and it is this break that makes the painting provocative. Velasquez depicts the deity Venus shown from the backside – it represents the opposite to Goya‘s La maja desnuda and La maja vestida (1803) in order to exhbit it between the two.

Another favoured motive is the above mentioned Judgement of Paris – a composition often called The three Graces – mind the apple!
Most famous are the works of Lucas Cranach, Sandro Botticelli and last not least Raffael.

Though a special nude I want to point out here in this context is a in a 1st century fresco at Pompeii!!!

For nowaday’s nude censorship in the London tube and on myspace see my posts:
Lucas Cranach poster part II: MYSPACE censured the pic as well!
Lucas Cranach censured in London Tube!

Art Sunday is hosted by The Wicked Witch showing today the famous Cezanne bathing nudes 😉

Lucas Cranach poster part II: MYSPACE censured the pic as well!

Myspace deleted a 500 years old pic of Lucas Cranach!

YES, they did it indeed. Even MYSPACE did it – exactly what I had been criticized in a former post concerning the London undergraound company:

Lucas Cranach censured: see the MYSPACE post
and my former post here on Multiply

Myspace send me the message you can read below! They deleted a pic in my photo album which shows a 1532 painting by Lucas Cranach – a poster for an Cranach exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art. I posted the pic to point out an absurd case of censorship at the London underground where the poster had been banned (but the company apologized and the poster will be allowed, indeed!). Read more at my blog – the pic is still there – they only deleted it at my photos!

It’s absurd when you take a tour at myspace – there are string tangas, sado-maso, agressive female breasts pics as profile pics and more…


Myspace send me the following message:

We had to delete one of your photos

We had to remove an image (or images) from your account because they violated our Terms of Use. Our site is for people as young as 14, so we can’t have certain kinds of pics (nude/sexually explicit, violence, material protected by copyright). Find out more about content we don’t allow here. If you continue to violate our Terms, we may be forced to remove your account.

You may feel singled out, but be assured that we delete each and every one of these images as we locate them. If you find an image which you feel is in violation of our Terms, please feel free to use the ‘report image’ link below the image.

Thanks for your understanding.

MySpace Safety & Security

Bienvenue à PARIS! Welcome to the Y!360 PARTY – PARIS, FRANCE!

No, I’m not actually in Paris today – only sharing some souvenirs with you. And I’m back to 360 :))
in order to present you some of my favorite music recalling France and Paris…

The pic above shows my daughter and me dancing in front of the Serge Gainsbourg’s house in St. Germain, Paris, in autoumn 2007. Paris is a wonderful place full of love, and although I’ve spent wonderful sojourns in love there, the most amazing visit was this one with my daughter showing her all the fascinating sites of Paris.

As a contribution to KEE’s Y!360 PARTY: “Around the World” #2 – PARIS, FRANCE!


The wild 70s were my teenage flower power years. 1976 I visited the first time Paris and I met my first great love – not in Paris, though, but in France, indeed 🙂 Each of us has his own family by now and we have been remaining friends – as we had promised to each other those days…

The love to the French chansons has been accompanying me since my teenage days, although not a French group I start my musical tour with a Manhattan Transfer song which was a hit during my last school year 😀

The Manhattan Transfer: CHANSON D’AMOUR, 1977

Serge Gainsbourg: Ballade de Melody Nelson, 1971

Joe Dassin / Willy Denzey : Et si tu n’existais pas, 2004

Souad Massi et Marc Lavoine: Paris, 2006

Take the tour through my playlist of my favorite French chansons – dedicated to Princess Suki who invited me to the party 😉
They are more or less all French singers I use to listen to – except Carla Bruni – here on the playlist it’s the first time I ever heard a song of her – why I’ve put her as well you may imagine quite well… And why ILONA? Because my daughter is running crazy about her and in Paris she went on her own to a shop to buy an Ilona CD 😉 And she did it so sweetly talking so nicely French 🙂

just press the play button on the standalone player:

Some Words About Our Y!360 PARTIES

And once again the link to KEE’s party and her CHATROOM!

Lucas Cranach censured in London Tube!

What is the difference between art and pornography? A question which may be difficult to answer in some cases and those are to be discussed.

An ad that features a nude painting that is almost 500 years old has been banned from the Tube.
A poster creative from Gay Times to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the legalisation of homosexuality was banned by London Underground.

This examples should not lead to a discussion – it‘s rather ridiculous and absurd what happens if you try desperately to keep all sex out of a … TUBE … haha, that‘s really funny and at the limit a Freudian problem!

It might also demonstrate that in our over-sexualised world with nude and really disgusting pics showing sado-maso, violence and worse at every news agency many people have lost their natural sense for the differentiation between art, erotics and pornography.

So, read what happened at the London underground recently:

The 1532 work by Lucas Cranach the Elder is entitled ‘Venus’ was to be used by the Royal Academy of Arts to promote a forthcoming exhibition of the artists work in a poster on the London Underground.

Cranach‘s painting of featuring a woman wearing two necklaces, a gauze slip and jewelled head-dress has fallen foul of CBS Outdoor guidelines for advertising on the Tube.

Their rules state ads should not “depict men, women or children in a sexual manner, or display nude or semi-nude figures in an overtly sexual context.”

The ad is the latest in a series to be banned from the London Underground. Last year a poster for the magazine Gay Times and another to promote the Anne Summers Rampant Rabbit vibrator were disallowed.


The latest news in the “SPIEGEL” (German news magazine) says the CRANACH POSTER will be allowed in the tube, the underground company apologised for their mistake: they had just too much nudes to examine!!!


16. Februar 2008
Wirbel um die nackte Göttin

Sie trägt nichts außer einem Lächeln und einem Hauch von Schleier. Das könnte prüde Fahrgäste verstören, vermuteten die Londoner Verkehrsbetriebe und stoppten die anrüchigen Plakate – bis sie erkannten, wer die Schöne ist.

Die “Venus” des deutschen Renaissance-Malers Lucas Cranach des Älteren (1472 bis 1553) wird nach Informationen des SPIEGEL nun doch auf Plakaten in den Londoner U-Bahnhöfen zu sehen sein. Das Plakat, das ab März zu sehen sein wird, soll für eine Cranach-Ausstellung in der Royal Academy werben.

Die Tatsache, dass die römische Göttin auf dem Gemälde aus dem Jahr 1532 außer einem Lächeln und einem durchsichtigem Schleier nichts trägt, könne zur “Verstörung” der Fahrgäste führen, war zunächst argumentiert worden.

Nun hat sich die Prüfstelle der Londoner Verkehrsbetriebe entschuldigt: “Unsere Agentur sichtet Tausende von Werbeplakaten jedes Jahr, wir können nicht jedes Mal richtig liegen.”

Cranach hatte sich damit in bizarrer Gesellschaft befunden: Zuletzt war ein Plakat eines englischen Sexspielzeugherstellers abgelehnt worden – darauf wurde für einen Vibrator der Marke “Zügelloses Karnickel” geworben.

Art sunday is hosted by Wicked Witch

Wider die Menschlichkeit

Der 95jährige Ahmed Nacer ist heute im Gefängnis von Settat in Marokko verstorben.

Sein Vergehen: Verletzung der heiligen Werte des Königreichs!!!
Der berreits schwerkranke, an den Rollstuhl gefesselte Mann wurde am 4. September 2007 zu drei (!) Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt.

Die Solidarité Maroc verlangte mehrfach die umgehende Freilassung von Nacer sowie ähnlicher Härtefälle, die auf Grund eines komplett anachronistischen Gesetzes verurteilt wurden, wie beispielsweise der 72jährige Mohamed Bougrine!!! Für Nacer ist es nun zu spät.
Link zur Petition
Siehe auch Repressionswelle gegen linke AktivistInnen

Persönliche Anmerkung: Hat Marokko irgendwie ein Problem mit aufmüpfigen alten Herrn, die ihren Schlapf nicht halten können??? Eigentlich sehr traurig….
Mit den jungen linken Aktivisten gibts ohnehin ein Riesenproblem, das wissen wir eh schon…

Maroc : décès en prison de Ahmed Nasser à 95 ans
Solidarité Maroc 05
15 février 2008

Ahmed Nasser, un homme de 95 ans, est décédé ce matin à la prison de Settat.

Ahmed Nasser a été arrêté le 4 septembre dernier et condamné en appel à 3 ans fermes de prison pour « atteinte aux valeurs sacrées du royaume ».

Une honte pour le pouvoir de ce pays et pour la justice marocaine.

Une occasion pour toutes et tous les démocrates de continuer le combat pour mettre fin à l’Etat de non droit.


Solidarité Maroc 05 a déjà à maintes reprises dénoncé la situation inacceptable dans laquelle se trouvait Ahmed Nacer, un vieil homme de plus de 90 ans, en fauteuil roulant, malade physiquement et mentalement, condamné à 3 ans de prison ferme pour « atteinte aux valeurs sacrées », obsession du Maroc moderne….

Solidarité Maroc 05 a demandé à plusieurs reprises aux autorités marocaines de le libérer.

Le gouvernement marocain porte l’entière responsabilité de ce décès survenu dans des conditions inhumaines.

Solidarité Maroc 05
GAP France

courtesy of Malika Ramani, see her politically engaged blog
et voici un recit très personel de Samira Kinani

Happy Valentine’s!

For this was on seynt Volantynys day Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese [choose] his make [mate].
Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer.
Je suis desja d’amour tanné Ma tres doulce Valentinée…

(Charles d’Orléans, Rondeau VI, lines 1–2;
a fifteenth-century rondeau written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his “valentined” wife)

ASH WEDNESDAY – mercredi des cendres – Aschermittwoch

Fasting has begun!
Le carême a commencé!
Fastenzeit ist!

Symbolic walk into the desert meeting spiruality, humility and austereness…