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Which Post-Renaissance Nudes Nude the Hardest?
Staying abreast of the butts a.k.a. legboobs.
I’ve been learning to paint and reading a little bit about art history. I started to wonder why historical figures were so nude all the time. Seems like a great recipe for a sunburned buttock.
Anyway, that’s what I want to get into today, butt first.
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Prepare the Scented Oils
As I mentioned last week I am going to modify some of these ideas into humorous readings supported by comedy slides then perform them live using my body. I have a couple of dates in March and April mostly secured but there’s no ticket link yet. I’ll let you know when those are available (prepare your body).
I’m still working on finishing up my film The Mostly Serious History of Wine (trailer) as well as the newer film project Charlie’s Electric Car (teaser trailer). I just secured some exciting agreements on the wine film which should help me whenever it gets released. We shall see.
I’ll also be on the microphone at a handful of bike races this spring and then again in fall including Speed Week and Stuckey’s Gravel Roll. If you’re a bike riding type, come out. If not, buy a bike already sheesh.
Thank you. I love you. Let’s get on to the nudes.
A Cavalcade of Venuses
I was aware that a lot of paintings had nude people in them, and I’m sure some of the intent was to show off the artist’s anatomical skill, but I think there’s also an element of sales and marketing on the part of the painter.
So, with that in mind, who was the ultimate master of the tingles-curious art lover? We begin.
Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus
It goes without saying that we have to start with the GOAT of Renaissance nudes, The Birth of Venus (above). In her day she nuded so hard even her own painting wanted to cover her up. As wind gods Zephyr and Aura at left blow Venus toward shore, a barefoot lady chucks some curtains at her.
Just imagine what it was like to be invited to one of the Medici family’s houses in Florence, 15th century Italy. You’ve never seen a nude woman in your life even if you are a woman who owns a mirror shop. You rock up to these fancy people’s house, walk inside, and —pow! — Botticelli Venus nudes you so hard your hands clap knuckle-to-knuckle behind your back.
Did you survive? You probably think you are safe because that’s the hardest any nude can nude. Think again, bucko. Titian is about to drop a nude so hot it’s literally touching itself.
Titian’s Venus of Urbino
Why does this nude (Urbino) nude harder than The Birth of Venus (TBOV)? You already know the answers, you randy mollusk. But I’ll tell you a few anyway:
Urbino is looking right at us.
Urbino’s hand is curled suggestively near her nudeydoodles.
Urbino is doing both of these at the same time. The nerve!
Add all these to the fact that Urbino could possibly have been modeled after a real person known to the viewers at the time it was painted. That’s a recipe for the nude equivalent of a freight train plowing into your psyche. Your psyche being, in this case, represented by a pile of trash bags full of whipped cream. Imagine the result. I demand you imagine the result!
Lady Godiva nudes pretty hard because, I’m sure, people believed the story to be true and could imagine themselves standing in the street watching her nude past. Imbeciles.
Also, points for the absurdly over-dressed horse.
But no one, and I mean no one, holds a candle to the nudiest hardnude that ever extremenuded.
You are probably noticing a trend here. You’re thinking, “So, if I’m a historical painter and I want to get people’s attention, all I have to do is paint a nude woman, say it’s Venus, and I’ll be hip deep in the equivalent of horny-Boomer money?”
Yes, that’s exactly right.
That is, until French Realism came along in the late 19th century and brought my boys Courbet and Manet. They approached that realization in two different ways, and I think Manet’s was superior.
Courbet painted nude women’s bodies as realistically as possible. This realism challenged the viewer to point out why the result is any different than a Botticelli or Titian. How realistically nude did he get? L’Origine du Monde is your answer.
Manet, on the other hand, chose to walk a finer line. He directly satirized Titian’s Venus with Olympia, right down to suggesting the dog, switched to a cat, and the supporting woman (two maids in Urbino and Laure in Olympia).
Further, Manet’s Olympia is clearly a sex worker. But we are not asked to pass judgement on her. In fact, she’s judging us. And we deserve it! Now that’s nuding hard AF.
Olympia is a depiction of a real person, not a goddess. But she’s arguably a little less suggestive than Urbino because her fingers aren’t as curled.
Naturally, when Olympia was accepted to the Salon in 1865, the art world soiled its frock coats. They punished Manet and Olympia for judging them.
The painting remained with Manet, unsold, until he died in 1883. My impression is that it hung in his studio. You can just imagine the master looking at Olympia every day and thinking, “Was I wrong?” What goes through his mind then? I think about that a lot.
After Manet died in 1883, Claude Monet led what was essentially a crowdfund campaign to purchase Olympia from Manet’s widow, Suzanne. They raised 20,000 francs, and Olympia eventually found her way into the Louvre. She now hangs in the Musee d'Orsay, nuding as hard as she ever did. Maybe even harder.
Disagree with my assessment? We’ll see about that.