This post is a pure celebration of breasts primarily in art, with some random opinions hither and thither.
There are many breasts.
Portrait of a Woman revealing her breasts by Jacobo Robusti
A breast is often a synonym for woman’s power of creation. It’s a common motif in art (yes, this is another art post, with a twist).
Detail, Fornarina by Raphael
You could say a nipple twist.
Typical example of a 17th century theatre costume
The connection with sex has been ushered in by modern times and began as a reaction by Victorian modesty values.
Marie-Thérèse Louise de Savoie-Carignan, Princess of Lamballe by Joseph-Siffrein Duplessi
The 18th century had low cuts and was renowned as a time of debauchery where orgies were quite commonplace on the heels of publications like This Misterie of Fucking from the late 17th and sexual self-improvement L’Ecole des Filles. Erotica was invented (I recommended Fanny Hill to begin with) and a flourishing market for erotic materials such as carved stone dildos (green jade from the Orient was a popular choice and remain so) and these were mechanized in the 19th century (here’s one operated by hand crank) in a way the steampunks would lose their mind over if they knew. Expanding shipping routes broadened horizons on that front.
Mary Robinson as Perdita by John Hoppner
The neckerchief (gathered, ruched fabric seen above) arose to partially veil the frequent pop-outs caused by the tight-laced corsets demanded by the time when following the fashionable bustline. Courtesans and other prostitutes were the celebrities of the time (has anything changed). With this constraint of voyeurism from a former era, it led to the Victorian emphasis on the arse and the emergence of the bustle.
A bared breast in the 19th century was tied to Pagan values because pagans tend to go skyclad (naked). However, in the 18th century it was associated with chastity in art. The innocence of baring, as a child and height, as youth. Women would rouge their nipples. Here’s a recipe. The pale pink or as we call it now when naming a fabric, the blush of youth. Women still buy blusher… (I think it’s aging, since the nipples darken after childbirth).
A la hussarde by John Droit 1932
In religious portrayals, it took from the Catholic Church’s change of heart on the Madonna. She became a key figure and some Orthodox families are still headed and defined by their Matriarch for this reason.
Typical chamber painting: Danaë by Antonio da Correggio
They found Renaissance “chamber paintings” kept in bedrooms or sometimes a wardrobe behind clothes to keep from the wife and associated topless females with masturbation, the reason they were commissioned.
Sleeping Venus by Giorgione
These examples of former chamber art became quite famous and emulated until the establishment barred them from public show by refusing to purchase under (im)morality laws.
Olympia by Manet
The Victorians weren’t fans of the practice of masturbation these vanities encouraged and the public, common men were now allowed to see them for a small fee under arts exhibitions headed by Queen Victoria. Equality: miners and barons allowed to ogle at the same pair of tits.
Art was a moral battleground and the Academy deemed these messages unacceptable (politically incorrect). The portrayal of nude females was confined mostly to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood outcasts, who hated them anyway, with a mind to portray women as both pagan (creative, fiery muses of men) and chaste, innocent (associated to their sex in a positive Christian way for the time). Potentially, they included so many nudes to piss off the Academy. Trolling par excellence. The combined interpretations taken up explains….
Lilith by Collier
The sex appeal was acknowledged to the viewer, as the choice to remain chaste.
Can’t you see how sexual those women are? One is even holding a HORN.
The Pearl by William-Adolphe Bougeureau
Virgins were sexy. There were urban legends about them which remain to this day, on par with unicorns. UNICORNS. (Modern beautiful virgins are like bloody unicorns). Virgins are still sexy (to men, whose opinion is The Word on sexual allure of normal women). It guaranteed paternity and makes a marriage almost divorce-proof (statistics and charts).
The Goddess Diana with a Lion by Angelo Von Courten
Women were powerful, and sex wasn’t a factor in it at all. In fact, sex diminished these women’s power. Promiscuous women were fallen and lost (kind view) or evil temptresses (femme fetale view kept today), who enticed men by plying their illegal trade as prostitutes by what they wore and the male spaces they chose to frequent (taverns, bars).
Picture is unrelated. It made me laugh.
A single woman in a bar? Pros. This is where we get the negative connotation of single.
The typical reaction. And they talk about Slut Shaming now.
Typical advertising, breaking the taboo on Victorian necklines. 1890. To this day, a woman with her top open is said to be asking for a come-on.
I wonder where she desires us to look. 1904 postcard. Wish you were here!
Hardcore Pornography of the day. Even whores had limits.
I call this phenomena The Tumbling Breast.
Just the breasts are depicted on partial display.
If you’re thinking “that sounds very feminist”, you are correct. This is the line the original feminists used to gain power, that female power was NOT rooted in sex and sexuality whatsoever! And lending women say, The Vote, wouldn’t lead to such immorality because women were the superior, purer, fairer sex acknowledged by the Classical Ancients (who the Victorians emulated in NeoClassicism).
It is Modern ‘Feminism’ which sexualizes and objectifies women because it is profitable; they charge for contraceptives, abortion and fertility treatments when it’s too late. ‘Sex-positive’ feminists are funded by companies. There is no profit in chastity. A few minor feminists have caught on, and coined the term Virgin Shaming. It hasn’t taken off because most feminists are deceptive. Feminist women in the 1960s began it wholesale to pass off the guilt they felt in the Sexual Revolution, from The Pill invented by men, onto other women who were competition for husbands later on (if everyone does it, men can’t preferentially choose the type of woman I can never be again, same with STDs at present, commented as positive to “get over with” again again and again although sluts in college are uncommon and it’s natural for a woman to be ashamed of her promiscuity, that’s why they downgrade, distort or try to redefine it as if the hymen doesn’t exist) and men caught on, who use it to this day to pressure a girl into why she should sleep with him because she needs to ‘lose it’ or be a loser (yep, that includes rape). Thanks, feminism!
As for the public argument of double standards on breast baring…
A few men rebelled and began walking around topless because miners who did real jobs needed that time to cool off and everyone said “fair enough” and soon male nipples were acceptable and remain thus. However, this doesn’t work for women because they’re erotogenic and connected to vaginal or clitoral nerve stimulation in the brain.
Class dismissed, thank you for not masturbating until you finished here first.