Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists

A sister nips her sister's nipple, Jupiter with breasts seduces the nymph Callisto... some examples of men's paintings of sappho erotica, throughout time.

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Sapphic Paintings By Male Painters

Oops, I confess I go to art openings mostly for the free booze and slick vibes. While compiling the list of examples of female of artists, I thought it would be interesting to see how male artists portrayed lesbians through the ages.

What did prick up my ears:

- Simeon Solomon (1840 – 1905) who painted "Sappho and Erinna". Solomon, a Jewish English painter, explored themes of homosexuality more openly than many of his contemporaries. At the height of his artistic career, on the 11 February 1873, Solomon was arrested with a sixty-year-old stableman in a public urinal, around the corner from Marylebone Lane Police Station. Both men were charged and found guilty of for "unlawfully attempt feloniously to commit the abominable crime of buggery" ...

After his six week detainment in the Clerkenwell House of Detention, Solomon was released in to the care of his cousin on a surety of £100, and that he promised to behave himself. Thereafter, he was admitted to two London private lunatic asylums and discharged "unimproved". Noooo! Almost a year later, Solomon was arrested in a Parisian public urinal with a male prostitute. Charged and convicted with “outrage public à la pudeur” (outrage to the public decency), Solomon served three months in a Paris jail.

Supported by friends and family, Solomon continued to work despite alcoholism, periods of chronic poverty and time spent in and out of the St. Giles Workhouse, situated in one of London’s poorest areas, where he died on 14 August 1905.

- Gustave Courbet (1819 – 1877) who painted "Le Sommeil" which was banned from being publicly displayed until 1988! Gustave Courbet was a controversial French painter who led the Realism movement in 19th-century France. The painting Le Sommeil was commissioned by the Ottoman diplomat Halil Şerif Pasha – aka Khalil Bey for his private collection of erotica, in Paris. Le Sommeil was inspired by Charles Baudelaire's poem "Femmes Damnees Delphine et Hippolyte" (Damned Women Delphine and Hippolyte) and depicts two naked women lying asleep on a bed entwined in an erotic embrace. It is purported that the two women are Courbet’s lover, the Irish model Joanna Hiffernan, and Constance Quéniaux a danseuse à l'Opéra. In 1872, when Le Sommeil was exhibited by a picture dealer it became the subject of a police report and was removed from display.

Courbet's most scandalous painting, however, was L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World) which daringly features a naked torso and... genitalia! There was much conjecture as to the identity of the model which has finally been revealed as Constance Quéniaux.

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters

Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters

The woman are presumed to be Gabrielle d’Estrées, mistress of King Henry IV of France, and her sister, the Duchess de Villars sitting in a bathtub lined with silk. Sisters, really?

Artist: Unknown, ca. 1594

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Peter Paul Rubens Jupiter and Callisto

Jupiter and Callisto

Jupiter disguised as the goddess Diana to seduce the nymph Callisto, who subsequently becomes pregnant! The story of originates from the poem Metamorphoses written by Ovid, 8 AD.

Artist: Peter Paul Rubens, 1613

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Francesco Furini Allegorie der Union der Malerei und Poesie

Allegorie der Union der Malerei und Poesie

The Muses of Painting and Poetry are depicted; Painting is shown with a paintbrush and mask, Poetry with an inkwell and pen holding. A scroll declares "Concordia Lumine Maior".

Artist: Francesco Furini Allegory, 1626

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem - Jupiter Disguised as Diana Seducing the Nymph Callisto

Jupiter & Callisto

A popular theme: Jupiter disguised as Diana seducing the nymph Callisto. Nymphs are divine spirits from ancient Greek mythology.

Artist: Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem, 1650

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Peter Lely - Nymphs by a Fountain

Nymphs by a Fountain

Nymphs sleeping together in a communal cuddle, worn out after a day of frolicking and cavorting... aye!

Artist: Peter Lely, 1650

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Jacob van Loo - Amarillis Crowning Mirtillo

Amarillis Crowning Mirtillo

Amarillis, is given the role of judging whose kisses the best. Mirtillo, thwarted in his desires and desperate for access to Amarillis, disguises himself as a woman.

Artist: Jacob van Loo, 1660

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Pietro Liberi - Diana and Callisto

Diana and Callisto

The real Diana, goddess of hunting, after the seduction of Callisto by Jupiter (who disguised himself as Diana).

Artist: Pietro Liberi, 1670

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Giovanni Battista Gaulli - Justice, Peace and Truth

Justice, Peace, and Truth

Peace gives Justice a soft kiss as Truth looks on, and a cherub places a crown on the head of Justice.

Artist: Giovanni Battista Gaulli, 1672

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: François Boucher - Two Nymphs of Diana resting after their Return from the Hunt

Two Nymphs of Diana

Two Nymphs of Diana resting after a hunt. Why are right Nymphs' titties exposed?

Artist: François Boucher, 1748

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Servant Girls' Dormitory

1995 - The Servant Girls' Dormitory

A man's voyeuristic fantasy of the servant girls' dormitory. Is the right girl softly spanking another!

Artist: Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1770

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Jean-Frédéric Schall - The Hug

The Hug

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Artist: Jean-Frédéric Schall, ca. 1800

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Jean-Alphonse Roehn - La Chute du Chat

La Chute du Chat

Translated as "Two Women in Bed Disturbed by a Cat". For sure every one looks for the cat!

Artist: Jean-Alphonse Roehn, 1800s

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Nicolai Abildgaard - The Greek Poet Sappho and the Girl from Mytilene

Sappho and

The Greek Poet Sappho and the Girl from Mytilene

Artist: Nicolai Abildgaard, 1809

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Washington Allston - Helena and Hermia

Helena and Hermia

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, Helena describes her friendship with Hermia "So we grew together, Like to a double cherry... Two lovely berries moulded on one stem."

Artist: Washington Allston, 1810

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Jules-Robert Auguste - Les Amies

Les Amies

Translated as "The Friends" - nude and gazing adoringly at each other. Really?

Artist: Jules-Robert Auguste, 1820

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Friedrich Overbeck - Italia und Germania

Italia und Germania

The two women symbolise the friendship between Italia and Germania.

Artist: Friedrich Overbeck, 1828

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Unknown - Boarding School Friends

Boarding School Friends

Is she teaching the girl how to kiss boys?

Artist: Unknown, 1837

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Jean-Alphonse Roehn - Le Réveil

Le Réveil

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Artist: Jean-Alphonse Roehn, 1850s

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Theodore Chasseriau - The Tepidarium

The Tepidarium

The poses and glances, the promiscuity of the languid bodies creates a harem atmosphere.

Artist: Theodore Chasseriau, 1853

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Simeon Solomon - Sappho and Erinna in the Garden at Mytilene

Sappho and Erinna

Sappho embraces poet Erinna in a garden at Mytilene, on Lesbos.

Artist: Simeon Solomon (Gay), 1864

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Gustave Courbet - Le Sommeil

Le Sommeil

In 1872, Le Sommeil became the subject of a police report and was removed from display, and banned until 1988.

Artist: Gustave Courbet, 1866

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: James Sant - A Thorn Amidst Roses

A Thorn Amidst Roses

The red-haired girl on the right has pricked herself with a rose thorn and leans toward her friend who takes her hand to remove the thorn.

Artist: James Sant, 1887

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Albert Guillaume - Madame Est Au Cercle

Madame Est Au Cercle

Madam is at her club, where women are playing poker, drinking, and smoking.

Artist: Albert Guillaume, 1892

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - Two Friends

Two Friends

Toulouse-Lautrec made many paintings and drawings inspired by life in Parisian brothels.

Artist: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Tadeusz Styka - Dark and Fair

Dark and Fair

"... a true lesbian was either a brunette or a redhead (red being the epitome of artificiality), and thus golden hair was left to the passive, willing victim." Nicole G. Albert

Artist: Tadeusz Styka, 1908

Sapphic Paintings By Male Artists: Hans Zatzka - Two Faries

Two Fairies Embracing

More like two fairies about to kiss!

Artist: Hans Zatzka, 1930s