In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Moviegoing: "Touchez Pas Au Grisbi" | Main | Elsewhere »

September 09, 2003

Pic of the Day


Choosing solely among the products of HFOP (i.e., High-Falutin' Oil Painting), what would you choose as your favorite female nude?

Obviously this is an impossible question, but I would have to nominate the following as among my very most favorites along this line.

J. Ingres, Woman Bathing, 1807

I think this beauty by Ingres gets the nod from me because of (1) the tenderness--I can think of no better word--of the depiction, and (2) the combination of her body language and her facial expression (she's hunched over in a bit of a defensive crouch, but she doesn't seem to be in distress; it's more as if she is shielding something of value--her physical beauty--that should be, deserves to be protected.)




P.S. Michael--Per your suggestion in the comments, I will post all nominated paintings in another post. Everybody else--Keep those cards and letters coming! See your favorite enshrined at 2blowhards!

posted by Friedrich at September 9, 2003


Mr. F,
Is this a cropped picture?--I seem to remember her with the tub and some drapery on her lap. What struck me in that is the sensuous curve of her back which is not really complete in this one. Or is that a different painting?

Posted by: Deb on September 9, 2003 9:32 PM

Titan's Venus of Urbino. Cliche yes, but I've seen a Harem's worth of female nudes and she is only one who keeps alluring.

Posted by: JL on September 9, 2003 10:47 PM

What's the name of that Correggio where the gal's embracing (I think I've got this right) Zeus in the form of a cloud? Lovely, tender image of surrender and transport. Gets my vote. Although some of those Degas gals washing themselves in their tubs are hard to resist.

Once the comments and suggestions have run their course here, will you be putting together a visual display of all the nominees? Hint hint.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 9, 2003 10:59 PM

"What's the name of that Correggio where the gal's embracing (I think I've got this right) Zeus in the form of a cloud?"

Zeus and Io:

Posted by: Dave Lull on September 9, 2003 11:47 PM

Courbet's "Woman with Parrot", in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This painting has annoyed and enthralled me ever since I first viewed it in Art History class. I like the relaxed, playful pose. The figure looks healthy and comfortable with her real woman's physique. But like the Salon of 1866, I suspect Courbet of poor taste (in his day).

Posted by: valine craig on September 9, 2003 11:48 PM

The gal's name is Io. The cloud is Jupiter. That Correggio painting is in Vienna's Kuntshistorisches Museum.

Posted by: valine craig on September 9, 2003 11:51 PM


You're thinking of the "Bather Valpincon" which is a full-length figure. Also terrific, but lacking the play between the warm colors of the flesh and the cool colors of the landscape of my #1 choice.

I'll be glad to put up all of the nominees. Excellent suggestion.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on September 10, 2003 12:15 AM

Manet, Olympia.

Posted by: Tim Hulsey on September 10, 2003 1:54 AM

Just some thoughts, as I have to look at them again:

The tantalizing smile of the bottom figure in Klimt's Goldfische.

Some nudes by British impressionist Walter Richard Sickert. Or Degas's bathing scenes / after the bath paintings.

Gerhard Richter's Erna. [Akt of einer Treppe].

None of them really realistic paintings, come to think of it. But, I have some homework to do this evening.

Posted by: ijsbrand on September 10, 2003 7:50 AM

Anders Zorn painted a lot of nudes in the landscape in the Naturalism vein. This is one of my favorites.

Posted by: James on September 10, 2003 1:10 PM

The Islamic nude:

Favorite? No. Alluring? Much so.

Posted by: Safoora on September 10, 2003 9:43 PM

Just about any of Degas' bathers would do. "Woman Combing Her Hair" is especially good, although it doesn't really count because it's a HFPP (High Falutin' Pastel Painting).

Posted by: Sean Nelson on September 11, 2003 12:34 PM

What a stunning array of artful pulchritude. I had finally settled on John Singer Sargent's Study From Life in the Art Institute of Chicago, but then I discovered that a href="">Terry Teachout had beat me to it. So perhaps I'll nominate a second choice: Klimt's Danae.

Posted by: George Wallace on September 11, 2003 1:52 PM

Cast my vote for Lovis Corinth who paints the best nudes ever. His work simultaneously elevates the domestic and mundane to the epic while making the heroic human. His nudes are observed, earthy and just plain sexy. I'm not able to find an online image of the perfect Corinth nude I have in mind. However, these links do take you to some swell examples of what I'm talking about.

Sexy HFOP for certain.

Posted by: Olsen Ross on September 11, 2003 2:06 PM

Wesselmann! not my favorite, but somehow all I could think of... ;-)

Posted by: Tim on September 11, 2003 4:20 PM

here's the image:

couldn't find much TW on the Web. Too bad.

Posted by: Tim on September 11, 2003 4:47 PM

I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion.

I never saw L Cornith's nudes before. Powerful work. That St Anthony painting is wild. Corinth's meaty brushwork makes me think of Lucien Freud -- who paints beautiful nudes that are too disturbing to label "favorite".

Safoora, very creative response to the question! Is "Islamic Nude" the real title of that photo? I loved all the images on that web site you referred to. The photographer, Mahgameh Parvaneh, is the only woman artist mentioned in these comments so far.

So I went searching for a HFOP by a woman artist. I promised myself that I wouldn't post it here unless I truly liked it. Here's one by Lotte Laserstein (German, 1898-1993). I love intimacy of the room and the medieval-like arrangement of the objects. The figure, however, is factual like many a Degas nude.

Posted by: valine craig on September 11, 2003 8:06 PM

Sometime ago, the blowhards posted a recent painting of a golden man with his eyes averted. He was up to no good, although not nude (men are almost never nude in that way). Can he be my current favorite?

Posted by: j.c. on September 12, 2003 2:31 PM

Rembrandt's poignant Bathsheba. Especially when contrasted with Rubens' baywatch Bathsheba.

Posted by: Gideon Strauss on September 13, 2003 8:15 AM

Not my all time fav but one I want on my wall. Lempcika's "Andromeda"

Posted by: JL on September 13, 2003 2:07 PM

Anything by Modigliani

Posted by: Joseph Barbaccia on September 15, 2003 3:40 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?