Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Titles for Reclining Women

Femme Fatale
18" x 24"  mixed media (marker & water colour paint on water colour paper) $50

Thinking of a catchy or interesting title for an art work can be challenging when the image or subject represented, regardless of the style, does not have a specific location or identity. Certainly the motivation for painting any subject can suggest a title. When the subject is less specific, I try to build some 'word' fun into the title, like Big Macks - the title I gave a recent painting featuring two mackerels on a plate, or Pom Pommes which featured two apples on a background. 

The painted drawing posted here depicts a female nude in a traditional reclining position. Searching for a title, I began to think about other famous reclining nudes in western art. Did you know that the Venetian Renaissance painter Giorgione was the first artist to depict this subject in Sleeping Venus, painted in 1510? 

Since then many artists have been painting the single female form, reclining, awake or asleep. Their attitudes range from demure and virginal to provocative, to bold and challenging. Here is a small sample of that range....

Manet: Olympia, 1863
Goya: The Naked Maja, 1797-1800

Matisse: Blue Nude: Memory of Biskra, 1907

Modigliani: Nude with Necklace, 1917
Leger: Reclining Woman, 1922
Suzanne Valadon: Reclining Nude, 1928

     Lucian Freud: Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, 1995
As for titling my painted drawing - which I quite like for it's bravura colour and graphic strength - I am calling it  Femme Fatale. 

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