REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN   (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Jupiter and Antiope, small plate,   (1631)





REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN   (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, large plate,   (1634) etching





REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN   (Dutch, 1606-1669)
The Monk in the Wheat Field,   (c. 1643)   etching

The Monk in the Wheat Field is most likely the most controversial of Rembrandt's etchings made after the death of his wife Saskia in 1642. During this time Rembrandt's career was in turmoil. He was quickly losing favor with his elite clientele as he digressed ever further from the conventions of high art with his casual poses with an arguably unfinished quality. Perhaps out of need for money he made these daring, blatantly sexual, etchings.

Regardless of the mastery of his craft, perhaps the world wasn't ready for such explicitly erotic imagery. Even to this day many of his erotic etchings remain hidden in a store room of the British Museum, away from public view, with the exception of an exhibition at the British Museum that shocked the London art scene in 2001.

The Erotic Art of Rembrandt van Rijn




REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)
The French Bed   (1646)
'Ledikant' or 'Lit a la française'
125 x 224 mm   Etching, drypoint and burin, 3rd state of 5
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rembrandt's The Bed (1646) is a rare contemporary illustration of a couple making love, composed around the time that the artist began an illicit relationship with his maid, Hendrickje Stoffels.



REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Joseph and Antiope, large plate,   (1659)   etching

"For his etching Jupiter and Antiope (1659) Rembrandt took his inspiration from an etching by the Italian artist Annibale Carracci titled Jupiter and Antiope (1592). The god Jupiter, in the shape of a satyr, spies on the sleeping princess Antiope. Cupid looks on, holding the bow with which he can fire the arrows of love. There is a landscape in the background.

Rembrandt's version is the reverse of Carracci's print. Rembrandt has borrowed a great deal, including the position and pose of the figures and the fall of light and shadow. But he has also omitted things: Cupid has gone, as has the curtain at the front and the whole landscape."

The Rembrandt House Museum


Lust in 1659: The inspecting gaze of Jupiter as he peeks at Antiope's thighs - in anticipation. Antiope's ecstatic facial expression diligently, her curves looming out of dark cross-hatchings. The lighting and composition of black bends from top left to bottom right. They may be mythical figures, but they are also a self-portrait: Rembrandt, the old artist, bends over his muse, Hendrickje Stoffels, the woman he coveted.



    • Teylers Museum
      • Rembrandt Nudes
    • The Erotic Art of Rembrandt van Rijn
    • Art Now and Then: Dirty Old Men
    • WEAM: World Erotic Art Museum
    • Rembrandt's Naughtiest Works . . .

    • Man and Woman Pissing  (1631)   etchings
    • Waterende man   (1631) etching
    • Waterende man   (1700-1800) etching
    • Waterende vrouw   (1631) etching
    • Woman Pissing  (1631)   etching
    • Jupiter and Antiope   (1631)   etching
    • Jupiter en Antiope the smaller plate   (1631) etching
    • Jupiter and Antiope   (1631)   etching
    • Joseph and Potiphar's Wife  (1634)   etching
    • Jozef ontsnapt aan Potifars vrouw   (1634)
    • Adam and Eve   (1638)   etching
artists and their muse     • Adam & Eve   (1638)   etching
    • The French Bed  (1646)   etching
    • The Bed   (1646)   etching
    • Het Ledikant ("Lit a la Française")  (1646) etching
    • Het monnikje in het koren   (1646) etching
    • Monk in Cornfield   (1646)   etching
    • The Monk in the Wheat Field   (1646)   etching
    • Negress Lying Down  (1658)  etching
    • Jupiter and Antiope   (1659)   etching
    • Jupiter en Antiope large plate   (1659)   etching
    • Jupiter and Antiope   (1659)   etching
    • Jupiter and Antiope   (1659)   etching

The Artists and Their Muse,   (1963)
Pencil drawing on cameo paper    
Der Cuckold Künstler und          
seine untreue Frau und Muse


REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)

Der Pissende Mann, (1631) etching   |   Die Pissebde Frau, (1631) etching









(German, c. 1484-1554)
left: Death and the Maiden, (1515) drawing on toned paper
right: Witch and Dragon (1515) drawing on toned paper




(German, 1500-1550)
left: Die Nacht / Night, (1548) engraving
right: Death and the Indecent Pair (1529) engraving
MORE     |     MORE



L'Origine du mooned / The Origin of the World, oil on canvas,   (1866)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France




(Austrian, 1890-1918)
left: Black-haired Girl with Lifted Skirt, (1911)   watercolor & pencil
right: Self Portrait, masturbating (1911)   watercolor & pencil
Selbstbefriedigung, 1911


". . . In his short life, Schiele was able to beautifully capture the excitement and the angst of human sexuality in his portraits of the nude figure. Schiele's depiction of sexual emotion often contains morbid or anxious undertones. Schiele had a mental connection between sex and mortality because his father died of syphilis when Schiele was 15. This link brought a certain uniqueness and character to his art. Schiele also, perhaps for the same reason, had a difficult time uniting sex with love. He had two prominent women in his life, Valerie Neuzil, or Wally, who was his mistress and model for many of his paintings, and Edith Harms, later to be his wife. Schiele separated women into two classifications that corresponded to these two women. Wally was the sexualized model, from whom he distanced himself emotionally. Edith was the innocent, chaste woman, whom he saw to be more human, yet also sexless. This posed a severe dilemma when Schiele married his wife Edith, because he wanted to keep his relationship with his mistress. When he was not able to carry on his affair, Schiele saw his marriage as a loss of his sexual freedom as well as a loss of himself. In many of his late self-portraits, Schiele depicts himself as being blinded as a metaphor for this loss. Edith was also not comfortable enough with herself to be a good figure model, yet she did not want Schiele drawing other women. After his marriage, much of Schiele's later work lost its powerful sexuality and energy."

Egon Scheile: Sexuality


Recumbent Female Nude with Legs Apart (1914)

Unlike many male artists, Schiele depicts his female nudes in a direct confrontation of their sexuality and its power. He would rarely use professional models, instead he often paid prostitutes to pose for him in non-traditional positions. The focus on the model's genitalia suggests Schiele's openness to the entire female body and creates a distinctive compositional design.




left: Egon Schiele: Reclining Nude Girl,   (1914)   pen & ink drawing
right: Lucian Freud: Boy on a Bed,   (1943)   pencil drawing



Portrait Fragment (detail), oil on canvas (1971)




(German/English, 1922-2011)
left: Naked Man on a Bed,   (1989)   oil on canvas   (art blurt)
right: Rose,   (1978-79)   oil on canvas

Franics Bacon's Three Studies of Lucian Freud   oil paintings (1969)



Terese Dreaming, oil painting








• LINKS:" target="_blank">Early Morning Decisions
      • Schiele: "Lifted Skirt" 1912
      • Schiele: "Self" (masturbating) 1911
      • Albrecht Durer, "Nude Self Portrait" 1505
         detail of Durer's uncut penis
    • Lucian Freud at
      Portrait Fragment 1971
      • Naked Man with Rat 1977-78
      • Rose 1978-79
      • Naked Portrait II 1980-81
      • and the bridegroom 1993
      • Naked Portrait in a Red Chair 1999
    • Art Now and Then: Dirty Old Men
    • World Erotic Art Museum: Persian painting







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updated: 06-04-2014


This website is not supported by an outside institution, donations nor by advertising. It has been created and maintained entirely at my own cost, and is hosted on my own server. Many of the images and books have been purchased to make them available to those people like me who are obsessed with the art of Helen West Heller, as well as artists' sketchbooks. - Scattergood-Moore



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