Anyone know the name of this painting at the Louvre?
June 5, 2012 9:47 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know the name of this painting at the Louvre? It's an eighteenth-century work of two aristocratic ladies, young and not terribly attractive, standing side by side and wearing nothing at all but their jewels and sly smiles. One of them has her finger plugged casually--one might almost say absentmindedly--into the other's butt. I just told my fiance about it, and she refuses to believe that so august an institution as the Louvre would display such a painting, much less that it even exists. If I can prove I'm not making it up, I won't have to dishes for a week. Thanks
posted by BadgerDoctor to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Aren't you confusing it with Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses soeurs, in which a lady is pinching her sister's nipple?
posted by clearlydemon at 10:03 PM on June 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

^ That's the first thing that came to mind for me as well, but I'd love to see this other one.
posted by Chutzler at 10:08 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

I found a reference to a Bill Bryson's book, in which he describes a painting of "one aristocratic woman casually sticking her thumb in another woman's fundament", but nobody knows if the picture actually exists.
posted by clearlydemon at 10:24 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

- yeah, not sure how you'd be able to see someone's finger up someone else's butt if they were standing side by side.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 10:25 PM on June 5, 2012

Your description is identical to Bryson's, so I assume you're getting it from him. Have you seen this painting yourself? If not, I'm tempted to think Bryson is just making the story up.
posted by painquale at 11:03 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

While I'm not having any luck trying to find that particular piece, the louvre does have at least a few erotic pictures. (definitly not safe for work, contains classical painting of many naked ladies, in which "The main element of eroticism in the painting focuses on two women, one of whom is caressing the breast of another sitting next to her."
posted by FritoKAL at 12:36 AM on June 6, 2012

For whatever it's worth, your description brought to mind a very specific image for me... I've seen a lot of paintings. Was it not dissimilar to clearlydemon's link, but with the sister on the viewer's right doing the manual manipulation? And somewhat more naturalistic?

Really all I have to offer is an inkling that it might actually exist if my image is anything like yours.
posted by cmoj at 12:55 AM on June 6, 2012

I doubt that this particular painting exists, if only because references to it would be everywhere if it did! It's not cited in the Erotic guide of the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay for instance. It's probably Gabrielle d'Estrées gone wild in Bryson's imagination. The Louvre does have a sculpture named Centaure enlaçant une bacchante (by Swedish artist Johan Tobias Sergel) that features a centaur putting his fingers in the nymph's fundament (he does more than shown on the picture) and getting a hard-on in the process.
posted by elgilito at 4:09 AM on June 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Bryson's description was 'casually - almost absentmindedly - into the other's fundament' which I took to be a vaginal rather than anal reference. If it helps. He says he found it by accident, grabbed his friend to show him but they couldn't find it again. So perhaps Bryson was high on Brie at the time?
posted by mippy at 4:29 AM on June 6, 2012

Sounds like this question is really:
Is this painting Bill Bryson described really part of the Louvre's collection?

As the question's stated, there's a built-in assumption that the painting exists, but it doesn't sound like the OP actually saw it -- and as someone who's met Bryson, and liked his books up until that point, the possibility that he's just making stuff up wouldn't surprise me.
posted by Rash at 9:12 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you want to attack the problem with brute force, perhaps this book would help.
posted by JJtheJetPlane at 9:25 AM on June 6, 2012

Nthing the question "Have you seen this picture, or a reproduction of this picture, or are you going on the Bill Bryson description?" Because Bill Bryson is not always accurate (to be fair, that's not the central point of his work). Agree that Bryson was almost certainly conflating Gabrielle d'Estrées with the centaur-fingerbanging-bacchante sculpture in his book.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:49 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's a more explicit view of the fingerbanging centaur. I guess BadgerDoctor will have to do the dishes next week but only half of them.
posted by elgilito at 10:03 AM on June 6, 2012

elgilito: "Here's a more explicit view of the fingerbanging centaur. I guess BadgerDoctor will have to do the dishes next week but only half of them."

Actually, he's fondling her cheeks; the tips of his fingers all lie outside her cleft - so they're not even grazing her orifices. More is implied, obv, but he's not technically fingerbanging.

posted by IAmBroom at 2:52 PM on June 6, 2012

... or not.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:52 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

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