Sex & Sensuality

26th November to 21st December 2018
Opening times:
9.30 am - 5.30 pm

This exhibition aims to show how artists portrayed eroticism in paintings and drawings of both male and female nudes as well as subject paintings. These subject paintings were veiled attempts at legitimising titillating subjects and would have been all to obvious to the 17th and 18th Century viewer. Later paintings became more obvious and brazen in their portrayal as attitudes relaxed and this reflects directly into art.

A popular subject matter throughout the centuries changing tastes, sentiments and prudishness can be charted through its development as a theme.

Traditionally the nude in Western art is thought to have begun in ancient Greece although arguably the first nude is art is the so called ‘Willendorf Venus’ from around 30,000BC. The rise of Christianity led to a dramatic decrease in the depiction of the naked figure (with the exception perhaps of Adam and Eve). This was reversed with the early awakenings of the Renaissance and the study of the classical nude and anatomy.

Naturalism began to creep in during the 17thCentury and more realistic depictions of the naked body became typical. Representations became more liberal and frivolous through the centuries (particularly in the 18thCentury) until the forthright images we see in the early 20thCentury.

Franz von Bayros
1866 - 1924

Exlibris of Doctoris Fred Hope

Allegorical
bayros
Franz von Bayros
1866 - 1924

‘Venus triumphans

Allegorical
bayros
Philippe-Jacques Van Bree
1786 - 1871

A reclining Nude

Portrait
bree
Bruno Joseph Cherier
1817 - 1880

The beautiful Odalisk, portrait of an Oriental woman

Portrait
cherier
Lucas Cranach the elder & Workshop
1472 - 1553

The Garden of Eden

Landscape
cranach
Allan Douglas Davidson
1873 - 1932

Tickling the Ivories

Portrait
davidson
Jacob Epstein
1880 - 1959

A Study of Mrs Betty Joel (la belle Juive)

Portrait
epstein
William Etty, R.A.
1787 – 1849

Male nude reaching for an hour-glass

Portrait
etty
William Etty, R.A.
1787 - 1849

Standing Nude, looking right

Portrait
etty
William Etty, R.A.
1787 - 1849

Standing female nude from behind

Portrait
Etty
William Etty, R.A.
1787 - 1849

Reclining, seated nude

Portrait
etty
Fontainebleau School circa 1590

A Portrait of Sabena Poppea

Portrait
Fontainbleau
French School 20th Century

Lépine

Portrait
french
French School 20th Century

Delcassé

Portrait
french
Genre
hoefnagel
David Jagger
1891 - 1958

Reclining Nude

Portrait
jagger
David Jagger
1891 - 1958

Reclining Nude

Portrait
jaggerd
ABRAHAM JANSSENS
1575 - 1632

The Four Elements

Allegorical
janssens
Lotte Laserstein
1898 - 1993

Madeleine sitting in a chair, around 1941

Portrait
laserstein
Carle van Loo
1705 – 1765

A Nymph at her Bath

Landscape
Loo
Jacob van Loo
1614 - 1670

Perseus and Andromeda

Mythological
looj
Willem van Mieris
1662 - 1747

Sylvia freed by Amyntas

Landscape
mieris
Pietro Rotari
1707 - 1762

Russian Girl with a Muff

Portrait
rotari
Jean-Baptiste Santerre
1651 - 1717

Le Lever; a Portrait of a Lady reclining by Candlelight

Portrait
santerre
Friedrich Sustris
1540 - 1599

Jupiter and Semele

Allegorical
sustris
Hughes Taraval
1729 - 1785

A Sleeping Lady

Portrait
taraval
LOUIS ROLLAND TRINQUESSE
1745 - 1800

A Male Nude Study

Portrait
trinquesse
Frans Wouters
1612 - 1659

A Satyr spying on a sleeping Nymph

Landscape
wouters