Since we all had such a fun and spirited time discussing and looking at the female subjects of William-Adolphe Bouguereau in the previous post, I thought I might be quite the clever girl and post a little counterpoint. I chose a few images from some of the dominant modernists who likely contributed so decisively to Bouguereau’s “demise” in the 20th century.

We’ve all agreed that art follows fashions and trends, sometimes to our pleasure, other times to our dismay. But we art lovers can also feel great satisfaction in the broad scope of art movements over the centuries, and feel awe over the sheer diversity of styles, concepts, aesthetics, and visions that have been expressed by artists. So does anything stay the same? Is anything constant? Does anything withstand the endless progression and evolution of art through the ages? The answer is yes, one thing. The female nude. And you know what that means, don’t you? It means I will continue to have a job 🙂

Here are a few contrasting depictions of female nudes, and every one of them was created just three short years after Bouguereau’s death. My how things change! The art world wastes no time.

Georges Braque, Le Grand Nu, 1908:

Marc Chagall, Red Nude, 1908:

Nude, by Picasso, again from 1908:

The revolution was underway . . .

7 thoughts on “Juxtaposition

  1. doug from canada says:

    Yes the female nude, the most loved subject of all and I’m so glad it continues to provide you with work you enjoy. But hey what about us male models, don’t we count for something????

  2. artmodel says:

    Doug, yes of course they do! I didn’t mean to give the impression that they don’t.

    But like you said, the female nude is the more enduring, eternal, and beloved subject. It’s inspired countless artists over the ages. Nudes in art are overwhelmingly female.

    For this post it was my intention to provide images which contrasted with Bouguereau’s. The Bouguereaus were all female, which is why I obviously used other female portrayals. It wouldn’t have made sense to show male figures. I was trying to make a point.

    You can, however, take comfort in knowing that one of the greatest artists of all time – Michelangelo – was one of the few dissenters. To say he preferred the male form is an understatement! In fact, he had so little interest in the female that he used males as models for his females, and it showed 😯


  3. exbrun2 says:

    I like modern art but abstract representations of the human form (female or male) presented by modernist artists don’t seem to capture the flower of humanity like the works of Bourguereau or the artists of the realist period.

    That said, I do like the works of the modernists AS abstract representations of the human form. I particularly like Marc Chagall – his works run the gamut from truly abstract to bordering on the real:

    When it comes to representational art and exposition of the human form my preference will always be slanted toward realism. I guess that could be why I like photography, too, though that medium is more simplistic and direct than drawing, painting, or sculpture.

    So here’s to a resurgence of realist, representational, art celebrating the human form. Female or male. May those who model always be in demand.

  4. exbrun2 says:


    Tried to insert some HTML into my comment but WordPress didn’t like it. Here’s a link to the Chagall piece I wanted to display:

    Take a look. Pretty real for a modernist…:)

  5. doug from canada says:

    oops, my apology I was just kidding around with you, I’ll try and keep my poor sense of humor in check – cheers

  6. artmodel says:


    I like Chagall too. Very much. Thanks for the link!

    Representational art isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, that’s for sure. Sometimes I think that the model in me prefers realism, and the non-model regular art lover prefers abstraction. Don’t know if that makes sense.

    Enjoyed your comments. They’re great as always!


  7. artmodel says:


    I had a feeling you were kidding around, but wasn’t sure. No apology necessary 🙂

    That’s one drawback of internet “talk” – humor/sarcasm often don’t “translate” accurately. Happens to all of us, believe me.

    But still, you are right Doug. I haven’t posted enough male nudes on this blog. I realized that a while ago and still haven’t remedied the problem. But now with you and several other male art model readers on the Museworthy bandwagon, I’ll finally fix it. You’ll be well-represented, you have my word.


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