Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Sexy Ladies, Hallucinatory Babies, and Megalomaniacs with Feelers


Here at SARFT, we have seen many times that nothing inspires artists like naked ladies.  We have also seen that Belgians are weird.  This week we combine these two themes as we look at the work of the 19th century Belgian painter FĂ©licien Rops.  I’ve looked at one of his works before, but it seems that was only the tip of the kinky iceberg.  WikiPaintings claims that his style is “symbolism.”  I think that “women wearing nothing but stockings” only goes so far as a symbol, but then what do I know?

It started when the title of this painting caught my eye: “Pornocrates.”  Uhh…porn for people who get off to Greek philosophers?


A blindfolded lady takes her pet pig for a walk.  She has accessorized well, but seems to have forgotten her dress.  In the background, baby angels make disturbingly ecstatic poses in the air.  I guess they like pigs?

Continuing the stockinged-lady-with-baby-angels theme, here is “Cythera’s Toilet.” 


I suppose they are supposed to be bearing her grooming tools and makeup, but frankly I have to assume that anything in tiny angel-borne vials are drugs.  Also one baby is bringing a breast on a plate?  Maybe it’s Jell-o made with a novelty mold.

This is the technically accurately named “Woman on a Rocking Horse.”


A Dominatrix rides with impunity, spurred onward by a band of grooving demons.  Beside her, a monkey dressed like Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother is forced to perch on a pole.  I think that Rops’ childhood nanny may have had some serious issues. 

But not as serious as those that Rops himself developed.  I debated for a while whether to include “The Satanic Removal,” part of a Satanic threesome of paintings.  If you’re curious but (rightfully) terrified of clicking links around here, it involves a naked lady, a frisky broomstick, and a demon so well hung he could actually hang himself.

Instead, I’ll conclude with the significantly tamer “Behind the Scenes.”


Compared to come of the others, this one is fairly unremarkable...except for the dude who is a cross between a smarmy Emperor Ming and the Monarch.  


SYMBOLISM!!

25 comments:

  1. I clicked the link for The Satanic Removal. God help me, I clicked the link. You warned us not to, but I did, and now I have to live with that image polluting my brain.
    And is getting off to philosophers weird? If loving philosophers is wrong, then this is not a pipe. (See what I did there? No? I took Freud's famous philosophical statem...forget it, it wasn't worth explaining.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry. The art world is a terrifying, skeezy place sometimes.

      As for loving philosophers, I would try to discuss the subject, but I just Kant. It's too Nietzsche.

      Delete
  2. There seems to be a painting behind the woman on the rocking horse, which depicts two pairs of misshapen boobs (or possibly moobs). By drawing attention to the inferior boob-drawing skills of the average painter, we are being reminded how lucky we are to be viewing the perfectly proportioned palookas on the woman. The Emperor Ming's erect antennae are making the same point with marginally less subtlety.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every good artist knows that it is important to have a point of comparison for one's lovingly drawn, perfectly proportioned palookas.

      Delete
  3. And I realize now again I am not getting updates from your site. Lordy, I hate blogger.

    Anyway, I'm going to say that if I had a daughter, I would not let her date this painter. Ever. Because I suspect he would end up wearing her as a skin suit. With stockings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boooo. I'm not sure what's up with the Blogger email alerts; a quick Googling revealed nothing, but I'll try to look into it further...

      And I'm sure his skin suits were all very tastefully put together.

      Delete
  4. @Pickleope - I laughed at your philosophy joke! I didn't laugh after I, too, clicked the link. Strangely enough, it wasn't as bad as the swan rape painting.

    What I want to know is how did all those little philosophers get stuck under the sidewalk pig walk? Why would there be a gap only tall enough to hunch over in a seated position? Ah, yes: Belgians are weird.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're just presenting me a challenge to one-up the swan painting at this point, you know...

      And that's what they do with their philosophers in Belgium: lock them up in crawlspaces until they repent of their philosophizing.

      Delete
  5. The woman following the pig...the blind folded woman following the pig...This I think means she trusts the pig to take her to her desired destination.

    Since I grew up on a farm I know that pigs pretty much only go two places - to the slop trough and to the wallow. Hey! Now I know why she left her dress at home. The result of either destination would be a huge dry cleaning bill. The why of the trip remains a mystery but quite possibly she's a contestant in a mud fighting contest or she likes slop or both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet Rops was a big fan of mud wrestling. Or slop wrestling. But only if the contestants wore stockings.

      Delete
    2. Could be. You bring up an interesting point about the stockings. There's also the gloves. Reckon he was a toe sucker? And a finger sucker? And he wanted those appendages clean? I don't have any experience with appendage suckers so I dunno if they prefer clean appendages or not. Do you? Know that is...

      Delete
  6. On the second picture, at first I was like "Why does that surfboard have angel wings?" But then I realized it's probably a mirror with angel wings. Which makes a lot more sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, obviously it must be a mirror with wings. A surfboard with wings would be preposterous.

      Delete
  7. I, er, well, um, we, that is to say - I just, sort of well would you excuse me please, I must um...

    p.s. pleased to see that the lady on a rockinghorse at least has had the decency to bring her chimpanzee-in-a-bonnet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. Evidently there was not enough fabric in Belgium to make clothes for the women, but at least it was sufficient to allow the chimpanzees to be decently attired.

      Delete
  8. I hate it when I take my pig for a walk and forget to put on clothes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, at least she remembered her bows and hair baubles - I mean, imagine the shame of going out *completely* unadorned!

      Delete
  9. The one with the horse riding dominatrix is interesting. Is that naked woman changing a light bulb in the background? And why isn't the naked man helping her, he's much taller than she is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh she must be changing a light bulb. Why else would a naked woman be in that position? At least it is not on my sexual position chart. But look closely, the man is actually a woman or maybe a chic with a dick, or maybe a guy with big man boobs. Anyway, he/she is pretty fat and I think he/she is about to sing.

      Delete
    2. Obviously changing a lightbulb was considered woman's work in 19th century Belgium. Preferably done while naked (as so many things are).

      Delete
  10. Interesting art I've never seen and witty commentary. Clever blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, and welcome to the blog!

      Delete
  11. I think that first painting demonstrates the truth of what I claim in my post: men rule the world. I mean, look how she's being led by that pig....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh, zing. Or maybe it's the kinky alternate version of Charlotte's Web: Wilbur's Foray into S&M.

      Delete
    2. I like the sound of that. And I'm not even wearing my scary boots. Oh wait... I am. Just the red ones.

      Delete