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Sex sells. Or at least in today’s society, the marketing world strategically incorporates erotic imagery in advertisements to gain consumers’ attention. If the moniker “sex sells” is true for advertisements, could it also be true in art? In nude paintings, does the artist aim to “sell” something by enticing us with the image of a naked and supple body?

When looking through Felix Vallotton’s artistic catalog, the amount of nudity is great. Vallotton used naked women in any context, from nude women bathing to nude women playing with kittens.

Félix Vallotton, Nude Women with Cats, c. 1897-1898. Oil on cardboard, 41 x 52 cm. Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne

Félix Vallotton, Nude Women with Cats, c. 1897-1898.
Oil on cardboard, 41 x 52 cm.
Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne

Vallotton, like most artists, appreciated beauty, including the beauty of the naked human body. But while the artist might have seen the beauty of the female form, what exactly does the observer experience when confronted with subtle eroticism? Read More