Welcome back to “the erotic art word”, where you choose these articles’ fates. These art history’s small bites taste like female nipples. #Freethenipple ante litteram.
Helena Fourment or “The Fur”, 1636/8, Peter Paul Rubens
“I liked the idea of marrying a woman who doesn’t blush whenever she sees me holding a brush.” 
Helena Fourment was Paul Ruben’s second, very young wife. Here, she seems portrayed in a disrupted moment – maybe, we would say – before or afterwards a good bath. She looks straight at the painter with a present complicity glance. The ambience tends to be so shadowy Caravaggesque that charmed Rubens and peers; a darkness that seems to wrap around the fur, hugging Helena, whose glimmer deeply contrasts with her very white skin.
I couldn’t say what could be more erotic in that gesture: either to make a run for it and cover with the fur, striking the pose of Venus Pudica (prudish), or her eyes, instead, that hesitate, without a single hint of rush.
Either way, it’s all about this gesture, this is where all the magic happens: the arm, reaching out the flap of fur coat to cover herself, pinches her breasts, making her ample bosom look more prosperous; it looks like two apples harvested between her arms.
Cupid and Psyche, 1817, Jacques Louis-David
You know David, the one of “The Death of Marat”? The symbolical, politicially engaged, neo-classical David? Here it is, David. Every now and then he’s frivolous, too. His painting, as you may see, provides the representation of the conflict between idealized love and physical reality, which might have a quite consistent coherence with the myth of Cupid and Psyche itself ; you may forgive me, though, but that strikingly chilled post-orgasmic slacking doesn’t see to me any kind of conflict. Cupid, which is depresented as a spoiled, dangerous naughty boy (ah, romance…!), he shows a smug face like he just had quite a lot of fun. Psyche, on her part, is already sleeping as she’s supposed to be, beign already daylight, but I would say her cheeks confirm for herself the same blast he had.
Well known were his architectonical compositions (he treated bodies as monuments); here, he went with the flow: he always leaves an intrinsick geometrical structure, sliding the core of the two subjects. That means that our eyes wander like the butterfly upon Psyche, her soul. But when we dwell on these two lovers, the eroticism strucks us completely. And it’s there, in Cupid’s unseemly posture, that we notice his arm isolating and framing Psyche’s breasts, with her nipple as red as her cheeks. And this flushing confirms they were in for a revel last night.
The pink shirt, 1927, Tamara De Lempicka
Folks, we’re now talking about De Lempicka, her fame speaks for herself and says it all: this unconventional artist, a pioneer for her age; every solid brush stroke of hers marvellously arises and dies in eroticism.
Here we introduce you a lying woman, her whole body weighs on her left arm, gently rested on a pillow; her head slightly tilted, her eyes are pointing straight up, it seems she’s looking at someone. Her strong neck and shoulders and her ’30s makeup are all remarkable details in De Lempicka’s style.
We can tell we are in the XX century and we’re loosen the prudishness grip because there’s so much less mystery, we could already tell what will catch our attention by just looking at the painting’s name: the pink shirt, which just fell off from one of the shoulders (it was propably taken off on purpose), two prefectly rounded breasts are reveiled just under the transparent silk, with two nipples even more red than her lips. They are so voluminous and hard, they don’t even follow the shadow’s geometry: they shine with their very own light, piercing the canvas. But why oh why do I keep writing, as I’m quite sure it’s been a while since you stopped reading.
Sex Painting #1, 2009, Betty Tompkins
Yeah, I know, I sneak up on you a little. Betty Tompkins is the artist LCDV really needed: belonging to the fierce ’70s feminist wave (where female artists claimed their places inside the art system), sex positive, Tompkins stole the heterosexual porn imagery to question women’s role in the society and in sex, by using very specific creative process and techniques. What you see is not a blurred and noisy picture: it’s an acrylic on canvas. Betty Tampkins would take mainstream porn images, maybe from magazines, too, crop them, isolate the details, study them, zoom ‘em out and eventually reproduce them on canvas. The realism of these images gets you the idea of how talented this artist truly is.
These close-ups we’re quite familiar with – from porn –, reproduced with this technique, make the detail almost surreal, out of context, allowing to elaborat the ideas of women and women’s bodies in a totally unexpected and innovative way: a subject of pleasure. These nasty courbet-ish true tits, vulvas and lips zooms show the body as it is: there’s no lies. In this 24×24 square, those who may appear to be two bodies, form an armonious, poetical, intimate geometry, made of simple, minimal shapes, and yet so familar: the fingers straight lines, the brests curve, the wrinkles we find in the torso, and that nipple, that dark climax among those few shadows (the exact opposite of De Lempicka’s squalling painting). They simply are facts, reality, two bodies while they’re having sex.
It used to be a porn, now it’s an open window that leads to potential… po-rn-ssibilities.
I’ll see you to the next erotic art word to find out together which odd paths we could possibly take, among nice filthy things and other stuff.
translation by: Francesca Paola Plicato
(click here to read other translations)