Jul 7, 2018

Seductive looks

Rmn-Grand Palais


A strap falls down,

an eye watches our every move…

a shoe is unlaced,

an eye watches our every move…

Paintings often combine seductive colors with subjects being seduced in a way that awakens our senses and desire.

A sensual vein particularly influenced by ancient culture began to develop in the 15th century.

Famous lovers from mythology made a wonderful pretext for Renaissance paintings imbued with barely restrained eroticism. The characters' eyes reveal everything, such as with this couple painted by Paris Bordone where the man fixes his feverish gaze on the breast of his companion.

In the 17th century (especially in Flemish painting) lustfulness became more explicit, as with this young woman who we see from behind, seeking our attention one final time before going to bed.

Since the Venus of the Renaissance, the naked form has enjoyed a boom like no other. Yet in the 19th century the naked body took on the appearance of a woman of easy virtue, becoming a little too real and a little too tangible, with scandal erupting as a result.

Rmn-Grand Palais
Credits: Story

We would like to thank:
- For design, illustrations, writing, and coordination of the RMN-Grand Palais project: Cécile Maisonneuve (Doctor of Art History, Policy Officer, Scientific Council), Nathalie Gathelier (National Museums Speaker), Annie Madec (Iconographer), Françoise Lombardi-Peissel (Project Manager) at RMN-Grand Palais.
- For reproductions: French museum collections represented by the Photo Agency of the Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais:
Montpellier, Musée Fabre; Versailles, Musée Lambinet; Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts; Paris, The Louvre; Paris, Centre Pompidou (Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre de Création Industrielle).

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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