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« Elsewhere | Main | Life's Cruel Ironies »

September 17, 2003

And The Nominees Are...


A week ago I asked you (and our readers) to nominate favorite female nudes, choosing among the products of HFOP (i.e., High-Falutiní Oil Painting). I also promised to put up the suggested artworks.

Well, here goes. They are listed, as best I can tell, in date order--which is my way of saying I donít have date information for all of them. This presentation order just happens to put your nomination first. (As we know, Blowhards have their privileges.)

Correggio, Jupiter and Io, 1531-2; Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538

Rembrandt, Bathseba At Her Bath, 1654; J.A.D. Ingres, Valpincon Bather, 1808

E. Manet, Olympia, 1863; G. Courbet, Woman with a Parrot, 1866

E. Degas, Woman Combing Her Hair, 1887-90; J. S. Sargent, Egyptian Girl (Study from Life), 1891

L. Corinth, Female Nude Lying Down, 1899;
G. Klimt, Goldfische, 1901-2

G. Klimt, Danae, 1907-8; A. Zorn, Helga, 1917

A. Modigliani, Standing Nude Elvira, 1918; T. Lempicka, Andromede, 1929

L. Laserstein, Traute Washing, c. 1930; T. Wesselman, Great American Nude, #57, 1964

G. Richter, Ema (Nude on a Staircase), 1966; Mahgameh Parvaneh, Untitled(?), 2003.

As the careful reader will no doubt be aware, we've got a few ringers in there--one pastel and one photograph. But what the heck, I can bend the rules if I want to.

Votes for one of the above, or nominations for further favorite female nudes--and let's try to stick to oil paintings in the future, okay?--should be registered via comments.

Let the contest begin!



P.S. If anyone can contribute the missing information for any of the above images, I will be grateful.

P.P.S. Nominations for male nudes will be accepted for next week's contest.

posted by Friedrich at September 17, 2003


While Titian was mixing rose-madder,
his model climbed up on a ladder.
Her position to Titian
suggested coition,
So he went up the ladder and had her.

- graffito at Yale art school, early 1980s

I don't know about sex on ladders (perhaps it led to a loft?) but Titian above all manages to convey the allure of the female body to all of the senses; sight, touch, hearing, smell and even to the heart.

Posted by: david on September 17, 2003 5:41 AM

My vote goes to L. Laserstein, Traute Washing, c. 1930.

Posted by: Rick on September 17, 2003 10:17 AM

Is anybody else surprised by similarities or differences they hadn't expected before they looked at pictures near each other? For example, it seems to me that Rembrandt's and Ingres's paintings "harmonize" quite nicely, despite what would seem incredible differences in their manner of painting and their overall interests. Likewise, Manet's and Courbet's paintings could easily be turned into one painting with a little photoshop work. And I wouldn't have guessed that the Degas' and Sargent's work would go so well together. Interesting.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on September 17, 2003 11:54 AM

Hmm, tough decision ... Favorite-sexy? Favorite-profound? Favorite formally-interesting? Sentimental favorite? Before committing to a vote, I need some terms defined here.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 17, 2003 12:00 PM

Gotta add a John Currin. How about this one:

Sorry, no title.

Posted by: Tim on September 17, 2003 12:33 PM

MB---I thought you said your wife was the one who goes round and round and you are a just-the-facts, ma'am guy!! Pick one! Be Brave.

Having said that---I pick two---either Helga or the Egyptian Girl. If I must vote, I pick Helga.

For next week, I nominate Adam from the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the "creation" tableau. I'd nominate the David but grouchy ole Mr. Von Blowhard said it had to be oil painting.

Posted by: annette on September 17, 2003 4:22 PM


Thanks for bending the rules. The photo is by Mahgameh Parvaneh - 2003.

Posted by: Safoora on September 17, 2003 5:58 PM

Has anyone noticed that most of the women in these paintings are a little, um, chubby. Just a little poochy under the navel and well endowed in the thighs. And not exactly bony in the shoulders. I wonder how they'd look in hip huggers, a crop top or a thong.

My vote is the Caraveggio--it's the playing with the light that does it.

Posted by: Deb on September 17, 2003 6:13 PM

The Wasserman appears to be titled "Great American Nude, #57" (1964)

Velazquez is memorable: "The Toilet of Venus (Rokeby Venus)"

"Aha oe Feii(What! Are you jealous?)" by Gauguin is impressive for its character realism and graphic line:

as is "Two Tahitian Women with Mango Blossoms"

Posted by: Laurence on September 17, 2003 9:42 PM

My vote would have to go to Manet's Olympia, because she is such a self-possessed woman who knows she's beautiful but doesn't care whether you know it or not. It's all about attitude! None of this lounging about looking pretty stuff for her.

My nomination for male nude is Charon Crossing the River Styx by Subleyras:

Possibly the greatest male nude of all time.

Posted by: Alexandra on September 18, 2003 10:16 AM

Well, now that we've discovered that body fat has a linear relationship to fertility, I don't think the chubbyness is any mystery.

Posted by: David Mercer on September 20, 2003 3:41 PM

Corinth, Female Nude Lying Down, 1899
love the socks

Posted by: D F Gray on September 20, 2003 8:31 PM

I realize the real point of the exercise is to have all the paintings in one place, which creates a marvelous effect, but the Rokeby Venus IS the right answer--whatever the precise question might be.

Posted by: Colby Cosh on September 21, 2003 4:16 AM

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