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Archive for April, 2012

Slave Girl Paintings, Pornography And Art

April 14, 2012 9 comments

With digital cameras and willing models, who seem to be in plentiful supply, anyone can be an artist, and images of scenes that tickle our fancies, whatever forms those fancies take, are readily available. But oh how much more difficult it was in times past to create these  image. One had to be really be an artist.

In the nineteenth century there was an art movement called Orientalism. It depicted life, real or imagined, in what looks to be Southern Europe, such as the slave markets of ancient Rome, or the Near East. There were several painters—Jean-Léon Gérôme, Giulio Rosati, et. al.—who specialized in this work. Following are examples for your pleasure and edification.

Slave Painting by Otto Pilny (Swiss, 1866-1936)

In the painting above, the desert tribesmen are enjoying a smoke when two slave girls are brought into camp and held by men sporting leering grins.

Slave Girl by Ansen Hofmann

I love the little blush of hair, and I note the girl—well, okay, clearly a woman—is a natural redhead. She is displaying herself, but the men seem to be distracted. Is she displaying herself because she was ordered to? Trained to? Or is she willingly asking for attention? The man on the right seems as if he’s about to pat the young woman’s ass. He’ll be telling her: Don’t worry, my dear. I’ll won’t be ignoring you much longer.

Pharaohs Handmaidens by John Collier

Ahhh Yes, I remember well the days when I was a Pharaoh, and these three beauties were in my service. The one on the right is asking: do you need me Master?

Selling Slaves in Rome by Jean Léone Gérôme

This young woman is certain to bring a good price. Her clothes are discarded behind her, as she stands before the buyers. I see several hands raised. I wonder what roll is played by the young man in the lower left? Does he bring her and take her back to her cell? I wonder what perks he enjoys.

Jean-Leon Gerome (French , 1824-1904). Snake Charmer, about 1870. French, Oil on Canvas.

It’s not the snake she’s charming, its the snakes. I wonder what the young man is thinking i.e. the boy on the left.

Slaves For Sale by Gustave Boulanger

I wish I could read the girl’s sign. For Sale, plus some other choice words I imagine. He has a sign as well, so I guess he’s a slave too. He doesn’t look happy, but she seems to have accepted her fate.

Bargaining for a Slave by Giulio Rosati

If I owned her I’d drive a hard bargain too, so to speak. The buyer is putting on a tough face, but the seller is clearly holding all the cards.

Slave Market by Jean Léone Gérôme

Nearly every hand is raised for this young woman. I love her figure. The scribe behind her, the one with his writing instrument in his mouth, is certainly checking her out.

I’ve looked at this painting many times, but it wasn’t until today that I realized its story. This is not just a woman being sold. It’s a family—mother, four children, and perhaps a nanny. The oldest child seems to be a developing girl, and I don’t mean woman. Child porn, something I find repulsive, just for the record, seems to be subtly expressed in Léone Gérôme’s fantasy.

White Slave by Ernest Normand

Yes, a White slave indeed.

The Slave Market by Gérôme Jean-Léon

I know a man who is especially attracted to girls with straight teeth. This is another.