Valentine’s Day: Sensual Art Books

On the occasion of the approaching day dedicated to Valentine’s Day, I offer you some interesting titles to give away or, why not, to treat yourself.

They are all books that have to do with art and eros: an ancient bond that dates back to the mists of time.

The story of Cupid and Psyche by Apuleius has been loved by many artists and writers and is becoming a model of the evolutionary path of the soul. Over the centuries it has woven a dense network of visual and conceptual references between painting, sculpture, literature and poetry.

The book Love and Psyche. The Tale of the Soul it is a journey through images spanning the centuries, from the masterpieces of Magna Graecia to Roman art, from Raphael to Canova, up to contemporary art, told by scholars, writers and art historians.

You can find the book HERE.

Among the recently released volumes more relevant to the theme of love and sensuality, this cannot be missing, dedicated to the sensuality of the many images that decorated the domestic and public spaces of ancient Pompeii.

The paintings and sculptures found in Pompeii have sometimes embarrassed and aroused much curiosity in observers, right from the beginning of scientific excavations on the Vesuvian site. Erotic and sensual images are present everywhere and they can be explained by a radically different approach that the pagan world would have had towards the pleasures of the senses.

You can find the book HERE.

The volume describes through frescoes, paintings and furnishings from the most important national and international museums, together with the great fresco of Castel Sant’Angelo by Perin Del Vaga one of the most fascinating myths of antiquity: the fable of Cupid and Psyche narrated by Apuleius in the Golden Donkey (II century AD).

The volume consists of 11 essays and 76 cards divided into four sections: from the roots of the myth to the personifications of Eros and Psyche without neglecting the sufferings of the soul and the interpretation of fable of Cupid and Psyche in the Renaissance.

A path of great artistic value, full of symbolic meanings that develop from antiquity to Canova documenting this extraordinary myth.

You can find the book HERE.

The two authors Stefano Zuffi and Marco Bussagli, page after page, they delve into the enthralling bond between art and eros.

The volume is accompanied by over 400 images and rich, documented and enjoyable texts. Where does the seduction come from? What sets off the spark of love? What transforms a tender affection into an overwhelming passion? Always alive questions to which writers, poets and musicians have answered over the centuries. But the strength of the images makes the figures of the myth, the beating of the heart, the inner emotions full-bodied and tangible.

The volume traces the history of eroticism in art from Greco-Roman antiquity to the present daypassing through the amorous flames of the classical world, the medieval modesty, the Renaissance outbursts, the Baroque whirlwinds, the Enlightenment rationalism, the nineteenth-century bourgeois embarrassments and the nonchalance of the twentieth century.

You can find the book Art and Eroticism HERE.

This book that I propose is entirely dedicated to Japanese erotic art.

It is structured by themes, based on the environments and topics that form the subject of the various works: voyeurism and homosexuality, erotic toys and animals, genitals and monsters, violence and foreigners, family and outdoor sex.

Many interesting ideas that offer the reader a new perspective to better appreciate the proposed prints. The introductory section analyzes the historical, social and cultural context in which this art developed: pleasure centers and women’s role, literary associations and taste for parody, users of the erotic genre and censorship, reception of shunga in the West and technical aspects.

In the final part of the book there is a glossary and a section dedicated to the reading of the image and the symbology which help to understand the meaning of some particular motifs and specific elements of Japanese culture.

The book Shunga. Images of desire in the erotic art of Japan yesterday and today you find it HERE.

Roma amor is an interesting essay on erotic representation in Etruscan and Roman art.

In the literature as in the art of ancient Italy, eroticism occupies a place that would be too easy and too summary to define scandalous. It is not possible to face these texts and these images without making an effort to understand the culture of the time in which they were created.

You can find the book HERE.

Mythological and erotica. Art and culture from antiquity to the eighteenth century is the catalog of the exhibition that took place at Palazzo Pitti in 2005-2006, curated by Ornella Casazza with Riccardo gennaioli.

The title defines a boundary within which it is necessary to remain since eros in its literary interpretations and figurative restitutions is so vast, tumultuous and swirling that it would risk overwhelming.

You can find the book HERE.

The most important group of works by Pierre Klossowski ever exhibited in Italy in dialogue with the fetish photographs of Pierre Molinier, the irreverent drawings of Carol Rama and the erotic anatomies of Hans Bellmer.

Drawings, photographs and paintings tell of unreasonable conduct aimed at pursuing omnivorous intellectual and erotic desires. Entering the most secret rooms of sexuality, the figures portrayed in real format by Klossowski stage situations already imagined in his literary works.

The book is Art and eros. Klossowski, Molinier, Bellmer, Rama can be found HERE.

For the moment, your Michelangelo Buonarroti greets you by making an appointment for the next posts and on social media.

Valentine’s Day: Sensual Art Books