Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Three Lovers by Théodore Géricault

Three Lovers (1817-20?)

The French painter Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) rarely painted female subjects, which led some to suggest that he was a homosexual or was a misogynist.  Comments made by his biographer, Charles Clément, that "this bold and masterly artist did not conceive of feminine beauty in its most delicate and distinguished forms" and quoting Géricault himself as saying he struggled with representing the female figure have cemented this view of him.  However, many years after he died, at the early age of 32, a series of erotic pictures started to appear, which had been suppressed by his family when they catalogued his work.  This small painting (about 30cm x 20cm), Three lovers, was probably painted between 1817 and 1820, following a tour of Rome, Florence and Naples. 

Study for Three Lovers

The naked woman on the left lolls in a languid, post coital pose as she watches the more active couple on the left.  The three are obviously totally comfortable with each other and we get the strong impression that we have arrived mid-way through a passionate, carnal episode involving all three as participants; not just a couple and a voyeur.  The fact that one women is naked and the other still dressed suggests that it is now just the beginning of the blonde woman's 'turn'.  The man already has bare legs (at least) as if he has already been in action, so to speak.

A number of other erotic sketches have  appeared over the years which are passionate but not graphic.  Still, they are very bold for 200 years ago and were probably done for Géricault's own entertainment rather than for sale.  Certainly it is believed that Three Lovers remained in his studio after he painted it.

Géricault was born in Rouen in 1791 and had a classical artistic education, also learning about the anatomy of the horse from his time living in Versailles where he drew the horses in the stables there.  His first major work, The Charging Chasseur (1812) was well received but his follow-up, The Wounded Cuirassier was less so.  Disappointed he joined the army garrison at Versailles for a short while but then undertook his trip to Italy.

The Kiss (1822)

After returning from Italy, where he had gone partly to end a romantic liaison with his aunt, he painted more military subjects before producing his masterpiece The Raft of the Medusa in 1819; a depiction of a contemporary shipwreck which he turned into a giant allegorical and politically controversial epic. 

Géricault undertook a series of portraits of the insane and, when in London to exhibit The Raft of the Medusa worked on pictures depicting the urban poor.  We was working on studies for his next epic paintings when he died at the age of 32 from tuberculosis in 1824.  We will look at some of his drawings of nymphs and satyrs, shortly.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Nymph and Satyr by Gerda Wegener (1925)

Triple P hasen't seen the film The Danish Girl (2015) which tells the story of Danish artist and illustrator Gerda Wegener (1885-1940) and her husband, the first sex change patient.  We have been planning a piece on some of her delicious lesbian paintings for some time, however.  The film, we gather, avoids the controversial subject of Wegener's own sexuality.  Here we have a lovely nymph enjoying a satyr.  Despite the satyr's predatory expression the nymph appears to be doing all the work here in a much more female dominant way than the usual depiction of such a couple. 

The two pictures here are illustrations from the erotic book Les Délassements de l’Éros, published in 1925.  Here a more contemporary lady is tickled by a faun.  Both are really delightful watercolours. 

 More about Wegener, soon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Touch of Class by Earl Miller

As it's Scarlett Knight's 'Hump Day'', when she usually unearths an arousing picture of a couple for her Google+ page, we thought we would post another Penthouse Love Set (two in one week, shock!).

This one, A Touch of Class, comes from the December 1978 edition and is unusual in that the pictorial features on the cover of the magazine.  In fact, it was the first time that a boy/girl Love Set had featured on the cover of Penthouse and, indeed, this would only happen one more time, in the eighties.

This one is supposedly set in a boarding school.  The opening shots have our lady and gentleman tossing a few balls.  These seventies and eighties Love Sets really benefit from these sorts of shots is establishing a relationship between the models.  The shots of them dressed make the shots of them naked much more satisfying.

The slightly dubious, thing from today's perspective, about this is that he is supposed to be her teacher.  We are not speaking about university or college here, either (and Triple P admits to having had a fling with a lady tutor who was fourteen years older than him), this is school.  This sort of behaviour, these days is considered very inappropriate and a line like that in the text "sometimes he singles out a pupil, as here..." (and) "..teaches her a thing or two"  would be deemed grooming today.

There have been a rash of teacher/pupil relationships hitting the headlines recently but quite often it seems to be a female teacher on the prowl. We went to a school performance evening at a young relation's girl's school school a couple of years ago and from the boy's school next door was a band where the lead guitarist (a pupil) seemed very friendly with the band's very attractive young singer (who obviously wasn't a pupil).  We asked if she was a pupil at the girl's school but was told she was a teacher from the boy's school.  This was the boy's school Triple P attended and there certainly weren't any women teachers like that when we were there!  In fact their weren't any women teachers at all until Triple P was sixteen when we got our first female teacher, for German. She was not unattractive but as she was in her late thirties she was not in the target zone of any of the boys.  She did wear nice leather boots in the winter, though.

In this shot our teacher seems very excited by the attention he is getting from the girls but photographer Earl Miller later revealed that the man had a banana stuffed down his trousers!   The female model in this set in August 1978 pet of the Month Jennifer Zanewho at least she looks the age she presumably is, early twenties rather than what she is supposed to be: a schoolgirl.  According to the text the school is supposed to be a "posh, progressive boarding school", hence the absence of school uniforms.

"In class the others get teacher's attention by raising their hands, she, by parting her legs," says the text on the page this photo is on.  So its as much her as him, it is implied.  That's what they all say.  "He proceeds to bridge the age gap in an unabridged way", it goes on.  This is quite a bold pussy touching shot for the time.

Next we have a sequence of the couple that didn't appear in the magazine which features them having cycled out to the woods at night (or one of them has, given the bike) for an illicit late night pic-nic. These clothes don't appear in the Penthouse pictorial at all.

They get down to some passionate caressing and she has a succulent, erect nipple in this shot.

The outdoor pic-nic is visible in this shot as we get the first view of her bush.  The male model in this was also Earl Miller's photographic assistant, Tom Swanson, and had also appeared in his Lust in Space pictorial in October 1978.

Although not explicit, this shot is, nonetheless, quite graphic.  This one did appear in the magazine and may have been from the bicycle sequence as Swanson is wearing the same necklace.  The text here is quite graphic too: "When he gingerly fondles her downy, schoolgirl cleft, though, she falls strangely silent, except for almost inaudible moans."   Fortunately, the model in the pictorial has a fully adult bush and is not as described.

The next part of the pictorial had a rather curious genesis.  In those days, unlike today, pictorials in magazines like Penthouse and Playboy would be shot over more than a day and not always in close proximity chronologically .

In this case Miller wanted to shoot more of the couple (perhaps he wasn't very happy with the bicycle pic-nic section which was, perhaps, intended to be the "love" section of the Love Set.

Anyway, when Tom Swanson turned up for the shoot he had shaved his mustache off.  Thinking quickly, Miller decided to incorporate this into the pictorial, which is why we get the girl giving him a shave as the mustache has, in fact, already gone. In the text she justifies this by saying that his mustache reminds her "of daddy".  Although, actually, of course she and he look about the same age so some suspension of belief is called for.

She then decides to "trim off a bit of his nether hair to make him a well-groomed lover."  He must be braver than Triple P in letting a girl with a cut-throat razor near his nether regions!   Sir, about the mark for my last essay.  Hmm!

Anyway, our lady seems to be enjoying the (fake) process, given her lovely smile and fortunately Mr Swanson's soapy part is ticked well away from her blade.

Despite what was appearing in other parts of the magazine, spread legged, labia revealing shots like this were still very rare in boy/girl Love Sets.  Bob Guccione actually preferred the more romantic style and it was his wife, Kathy Keeton, who pushed for more explicitness over the years.

In the text accompanying this fine nipple licking shot they say that the girl is a "barely blooming eighteen" years old.  At least as far as the story is concerned.

There is no actually lip to lip kissing in the pictorial although the couple get very close, as here, but always end up looking like they have just missed.

This shot is actually identical to the one on the cover  Including text free versions of the cover shots was something that Penthouse had only just started to occasionally do.

Finally, after all that foreplay and shaving, we get a few lovemaking shots, although they are less assertive than some that have preceded them and we are not sure even if these really count.

These implied fellatio shots (one from the magazine, one outtake) are a bit stronger, however.

Finally, our school girl gets her fancy tickled with the shower; no doubt to cool her down.  Although this boy girl set does not have the passion of Sea Song, for example, it is a nice, gentle set where the two models seem to have a good relationship which comes over well in what is a rather playful set.

The next Love Set will be the first of 1979 and will also be by Earl Miller.  In many ways it is stylistically similar to this one but is a girl/girl set.  We will try to get this posted for Scarlett Knight's Sapphic Sunday this weekend!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sneaky Xmas Gift Catalogue by Stan Malinowski

When is a Penthouse Love Set not really a Penthouse Love Set?  When it is. what wouldn't have been called at the time, an advertorial.  We actually thought about not including this pictorial in our chronological review of Penthouse Love Sets but it contains some striking images (not least this fine study) so decided to go ahead. 

It appeared in the November 1978 issue of the magazine and even featured on the cover in aphoto photo which, like the pictorial, was shot by Stan Malinowski (then pretentiously calling himself just Malinowski).

The first picture in the pictorial featured the cover girl, one of three models in the set.   They are not named in the text but this is Carrie Nelson, Pet of the Month for January 1978.

Next up we have one of two Brunettes in the shoot.  This is the peerless Deborah Zullo, Penthouse Pet of the Month for November 1977 and one of our favourites of the seventies.

The third model in the shoot is Pet of the Month for April 1973, Paula Francis (here on the left).  This is one of the few shots of all three girls together

So we get three Pets of the Month but which one is which, in this picture. we will leave you to judge.  These are early examples of the new high cut knickers (as you can see in comparison with the girl on the right's tan lines) which would start to appear over the next few years

Although there are some sapphic overtones in the shoot (actually rather more than overtones in some shots) this is actually an unusual pictorial for Penthouse in that it combines their normal fashion pictorial (which sometimes featured Penthouse Pets too) with a standard girl/girl approach.

For every one of the girl's outfits has the supplier, code number and price indicated in the piece.  So here we have Paula and Deborah (with the Penthouse key necklace) cavorting in nylon net with black Camelia lace (Paula) and sheer black net Swiss embroidered lingerie (Deborah).

Here we have blonde Carrie Nelson (who appeared in a number of other men's magazines at the time under a variety of different names) and Paula Francis (who doesn't seem to have done anything other than her Penthouse Pet shoot and this) looking sweet and innocent.  Well, maybe Carrie looks a bit more knowing.

Here we have Paula giving Carrie's perky breast a little squeeze and getting ready for some gently sensual caressing.  All of the lingerie for the shoot was provided by a shop called Viva in glamourous New Jersey. An almost, but not quite, matching babydoll and chemise here.

Paula and Carrie (bosom buddies, the text hilariously calls them) look striking in red satin.

Here we have one of the ladies in what the text describes as a Southern Belle-style cincher, although ,from the look of their taut stomachs in the other shots, she hardly needs it.

This is the last real fashion picture of what, despite its hybrid nature, is actually quite a successful set.  It's certainly a nice retro dose of lacy fantasy from a time when Triple P's schoolgirl girlfriend wore plain white cotton. We suppose at prices of around $15 -£35 the items were not the cheapest on the market at the time and we think all the outfits are nice and completely lacking in tacky sleaziness.

The last five pictures demonstrate why we did include this pictorial in among our Penthouse Love Sets as there is not a scarp of lingerie to be seen on any of the girls in these, with Paula (in tit licking action, above) being the most assertive.  It is a shame that this was the only other pictorial, apart from her Pet of the Month one in 1973 that she seems to have done.

Finally, these two get a good look at each other in what is a gently enticing pictorial.

We have one more Love Set from 1978 to post, which we scanned yesterday.  It is a boy/girl one and there would be two more of these before the end of the decade.  There are also five more girl/girl ones to come in the seventies.