Paintings That Depict The Devilish Temptation Of Eroticism

Paintings That Depict The Devilish Temptation Of Eroticism

Avatar of Diana Garrido

By: Diana Garrido

March 31, 2017

Art Paintings That Depict The Devilish Temptation Of Eroticism
Avatar of Diana Garrido

By: Diana Garrido

March 31, 2017

The demonic can be so tempting that it can push us to the limits and drive us insane. It can give us what we want, but only in exchange of something of equal value. It has always been part of us, but we are also part of it. Why is it so compelling? Why is it ingrained in our nature and psyche? Art could hold a possible answer.

demonic temptation art woman
For centuries, classic conventions dictated that anything lacking beauty came from darkness or, at least, a place with no sense of beauty. Against this background, the Dadaist movement attempted to challenge these notions by showing non-conventional beauty through their art, but they did not achieve much success. Nonetheless, the Nabi artists which preceded them, succeeded in creating an artistic movement fired up by a similar idea. Their technique involved the exaltation of pure colors, extoic motifs, mysticism, and magic. As a matter of fact "Nabi" means prophet in Hebrew and Arabic.

demonic temptation art nabi
The most important members of this movement were Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, and its founder, Paul Sérusier. They created great works of art getting inspiration from what society associated with darkness, where beauty cannot be found: Satan, witches, fairies, and occultism.

demonic temptation art occult
These movement's paintings conveyed no sense of reality and had no intention to do so. This trait made them unique during their time. While previous artistic movements tried to recreate exact representations of their surroundings, like portraits or landscapes, the Nabi distorted images with their bright colors and thick protruding strokes. In addition, they portrayed eroticism through bodies that were not necessarily involved in an erotic or sexual situation.

demonic temptation art  body
Sensuality and nakedness was a key element. When characters were not part of magic rituals or seances, they were being seduced by non-human entities.

demonic temptation art eroticism sensuality

The Nabi had a workshop that they called "The Temple" because they would make each and every painting with an almost religious devotion. 

demonic temptation art devotion
They had a mantra that they would recite at the beginning of their meetings: "Sounds, colors, and words have a miraculously expressive power beyond all representation ,and even beyond the literal meaning of the words." In their eyes, distortion and exaggeration were their paintings' "magical" source. Through their imagination, they could continue their search for beauty beyond the physical world.

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Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia