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Sexuality and Creativity

By on December 2, 2010

The world of erotic art is both enticing and beautiful as it is often an embracing of the human form in its entire splendor.

An artist of erotica can attract admiration to the long soft lines of a woman’s hips and the seductive curve of her breasts. They can release the prowess and hard rugged masculinity of the male form in a visually stimulating masterpiece.

erotic-art

It is difficult to make a definitive distinction between erotic art and pornography due to differences in cultural and societal view points. Pornography in our more modern time could be viewed as anything that is presented with the intent of arousing, using graphic detail of the sexual acts while; erotica could be said to be less obvious, more suggestive if you will.

The Beginning
Erotic art first materialized during the Paleolithic era in the form of cave paintings and carvings. However, these depictions of human genitals are thought to have been used for religious rather than sexual purposes. A great example of art in this time period is that of Venus of Willendorf, a female figurine standing 11.5 cm in height. It is estimated to have been carved between 24,000 and 22,000 B. C. E. This unrealistic portrayal of the female body is carved without feet leaving the purpose of this figure open to much speculation.

Ancient Greece and Rome
Ancient Greece and Rome embraced erotic art as a major part of their culture but, as they had no concept of pornography it is impossible to distinguish what might have been considered illegal or immoral. Their art is thought to have been more a reflection of their daily lives as it was often used to share the love stories of their gods or even in the solicitation of prostitution. Some art was more sexual in nature while some such as the herm, a statue of a head with a phallus(penis) in the front, where simply a common house hold item for good luck.

The ancient Greeks are also known for having the earliest depictions of same-sex behavior and bestiality. Pompeii housed numerous erotic paintings and statues. One of the first objects excavated from the ruins, after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, was a marble sculpture of the god Pan having sexual relations with a goat. This along with many more pieces, where thought to be pornographic and due to a clash in cultures where locked away in the Gabenitto Segreto, more commonly known as the Secret Cabinet, located in Naples National Archeological Museum, Italy. These historical artifacts are now made available to the public for viewing.

The Renaissance Period
Much of the erotic art produced during the Renaissance period was used to depicted religious stories of the bible or those of the Greek Gods. One such story was that of Zeus, Greek God of the sky and ruler of Mount Olympus, who was well known for his erotic encounters with humans. He would often take the form of an animal to avoid the suspecting eyes of his wife Hera. One of his most famous conquests was Leda; wife of the Spartan King, Tyndareos. According to myth Zeus took the form of a swan so that he might ravish her. Soon after she laid eggs and hatched from one was, Helen of Troy. Their sexual encounter has been recaptured by varies artists through out history but, the two most famous paintings where done by Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. However, Leonardo’s original paintings no longer exist and it is believe that they were destroyed because of the sexual innuendo of bestiality.

The 20th Century
In 1934 a Polish artist by the name of Balthazar Klossowski de Rola painted The Guitar Lesson. This painting depicted that of a young girl and her female teacher in a very sexually explicit scene, suggestive of Lesbianism. Despite being well known for his use of young girls in erotic and voyeuristic poses this specific piece of art created much controversy due to its content and suggestion of same sex relations. Balthus defended is work arguing that it just recognized children’s sexuality. However, to this day is art is often viewed as pornographic rather than erotic.

More than just sultry figures baring it all
Through sculptures, paintings, photographs and literature we are all enlightened on the historical exploration of sexual acts. Erotic art is a symbol of freedom from sexual persecution and an expression of rights to ones own beliefs. Some of the greatest minds of all time where artists and for centuries they found ways to explore and promote their sexual preferences through brilliantly manipulated works of art. Their work tells stories of sexual exploration and shares a world of desire that is not always openly accepted in society. It is as Sigmund Freud argued all creativity stems from our sexual drive or libido.

To see more Erotic Art, here are some good books we suggest:

The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today

The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today – Volume 2

The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today – Volume 1: Limited Edition

The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today – Volume 1

One Comment

  1. Josh

    February 4, 2014 at 8:22 am

    What a great overview on the erotic arts! I really enjoy this writers articles, very informative, can’t wait to read more!

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