The Rise of Full Figured Art
The ideals of feminine beauty have always been mercurial, from one moment to the next the idea of the ‘perfect’ female form can change in the blink of an eye. Depending on who you ask and where in the world you are asking, you’ll be given a varying range of replies on what defines the ‘perfect’ female form.
For centuries, artists have captured these changes in what is thought to be ‘perfect’ in famous works, beginning in the Renaissance from the 14th to the 17th century, in which time, Venus and Lute Player was created by Tiziano Vecellio in 1560AD. Then came Peter Paul Rubens and his painting titled, The Three Graces during the Baroque art period around the 1600’s. Through their art they and others have brought to light the true beauty of the feminine form in all its wonderful and many changing shapes.
However, one artist in particular has become synonymous with depictions of curvy, voluptuous women and his name and work was even used to coin the phrase for an entire style of painting. That artist was Sir Peter Paul Rubens and his works featuring full figured women, earned the name, ‘Rubenesque’. Even today the term is used when describing women and the artists who feature women that are full figured. In fact, entire cultures embrace the curves of a woman, there is a Sahraoui proverb that says, ‘The size of her place in the heart of the husband is measured by the size of her place in the bed’, which can be translated into meaning the bigger she is, the more space she gets in the heart of her husband. Embracing big is really beautiful.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
The full figured female form has been discussed by students of fine art and historians alike, who continue to ask two questions. Firstly, what defines feminine beauty? And secondly, who or what creates that definition? Is it purely in the eye of the beholder, or is there more to it? The BBC posed another interesting question, Did Rubens make big beautiful? The writer came to the conclusion that “Rubens never set out to make big beautiful. Rubenesque – with all its connotations of body shape – is a modern invention. Looking at Rubens’ paintings and seeing only large bodies says far more about our age than his.” Food for thought indeed.
Though as a human being we all have our own views of what is sensual and enticing. Those who find full figured women (BBW or SSBBW) desirable may look at these images and see what their hearts desire. They may find the feel of comforting, soft flesh to be the epitome of femininity and will search out women who have attained “perfection” in their own eye. Which is why art is such a wonderful medium for both discussion as well as fanning the flames of desire.
Human Bodies Can Just Flow with Music
I have always been interested in art and recently I had the chance to speak with the self-taught artist, Jo Potocki, who creates inspiring art of full figured dancers. Thank you, Jo for taking the time to speak with Monthly Fetish!
MF – Your art is very inspiring and body positive. How did you get interested in creating your BBW series? What was or is your inspiration?
JP – I’m a curvy girl and I love painting women, especially ones with dangerous curves! One of my earliest influences and I am not sure where she comes from, was a BBW redhead named Hilda who was always running around in a bikini made from daisies.
MF – How has your BBW series been received? What type of feedback and comments have you been given?
JP – I just painted a few in the beginning as little 3-inch paintings to give away with larger artworks people were collecting. Then I had collectors asking for more detailed BBW paintings. I have never had a bad comment (yet) about them. Instead, people really seem to enjoy them.
MF – Have you been inspired by the painting of Sir Peter Paul Ruben, the creator of “Rubenesque” art?
JP – I’m a self-taught artist and until someone brought up Ruben’s art as painting large women, I hadn’t really looked. His paintings are masterful and it made me want to get even more detailed.
MF – I appreciate the composition in the backgrounds of your painting, many seem to be scenes from Europe. What inspired this?
JP – Images from days gone by appeal to me most. I paint quite often on vintage postcards from the turn of last century or use those as inspiration for backgrounds. Sometimes places that don’t even exist in that way any longer due to war or simply time.
MF – I read that you have plans to continue this series, will you follow the dancer series? If so, why have dancers been the main theme for you?
JP – I will always paint dancers. The way human bodies can just flow with music is wildly fascinating to me. Ballerinas have some of the most beautiful moves.
MF – Please tell our readers where they can find your BBW artwork and also where they can follow you online (social media etc.).
JP – I sell on eBay at: http://www.ebay.com/sch/3amgallery/m.html and if you want to see what I am working on – come see me on Instagram! I put photos up as I am working on new art: https://www.instagram.com/jopotockiart/