Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Art Deco

Susanna in the bath is by the German Symbolist and Art Nouveau painter Franz von Stuck (1863-1928). Although it's important for him to show a nude there are still other more interseting things. First Stuck renounces the naturalistic style. He preferes something more ornamentical and geometrical. It's all symbol, from the surprised women and the two menacing figures to the bathroom slippers.

Susanna in the Bath (1913)


  1. Hard to relate when nude women figure is presented in the context of a bible, but after reading your blog I think I moved a couple of inches closer to it. I like to paint women figure Oil Paintings and Mixed Media Painting – Figurative Women, but usually I keep it separate from the religion. I think you can show a connection between everything and anything, the question is - “Do you have to?”

  2. Sure that I don't have to. And I agree that nudes haven't much to do with religion.
    But that's not the subject. I want to show that many women paintings in museums are related to stories from the Bible. Probably this hasn't much to do with religion. Maybe artists used this stories only because they were the best known.

  3. Nude or not, in those days, the only weapon a woman had was her beauty and, given the opportunity which was not often with all those old patriarchs, her wits.

    And there was obviously a lot of sex in those times, think of all that "begetting" and "begatting" that went on. Many of the more famous stories involved women who used their wares and changed history. They were rather a randy group.

    A woman might be pure but to reach her goal, she might arrange for an "accidental" sighting by the one she is interested in while bathing or being beautified.

    Although here, why she covers her front when those chaps are behind her, I am not too sure.
    I have always loved these stories and collected images of these women. It is wonderful to see an interest in these women.

    One thing I realized a few years ago was that art by Alma-Tadema, or Gerome, of any of the NeoOriental artists titillated the imaginations of the western people.

    Folks imagined harems full of voluptuous women and handsome sheiks with flashing eyes racing about on camels or horses. This was also a time when, publically at least, sex was taboo and Victorian virtue a major value.

    The British found many ways to get around this; they ~ being a rather kinky lot at the time ~ considered some of this art, as fabulous as it is, bordered on the erotic for its appeal to the gentlemen. In my humble opinion ...

    I would truly love to see you do some finding of Melusine some time. She is not Biblical, she was around the time of the Crusades, but a fascinating woman surrounded my a myriad of myths.