The story behind The Laundress.

This is so good. -Emily

I find that hard to reconcile with how 18th century dresses had boobs practically hanging out of them. Maybe the chest wasn’t as sexualized as the ankles were back then…

I have a dim memory from back in high school… I think someone once told me that breasts were no big deal back in corsetry-and-necklines-down-to-there days, they were considered a food source for children and that’s it.

But ANKLES. Oh, GOD. ANKLES. The ANKLE was connected to the LEG, which connected to THIGHS, which hid a woman’s SECRET FLOWER. The ankle was the gateway to the secret flower, so it was considered quite a stirring sight!

I have never considered that “leg bone connected to the ankle bone” song as a sexy tune before but



                          John Singer Sargent – 1856 – 1925

Sargent is not remembered for being a prominent gay artist, manly because many art scholars and followers of Sargent have dismissed all evidence and signs supporting such. Aside from being close to Oscar Wilde, Robert de Montesquiou and Fredrick Leighton (all gay fixtures of that time period). Sargent was well know in Paris circles for having sexual relationships with men. He never married or fathered children and after his death his family destroyed all correspondence he left behind. If that wasn’t enough proof, Sargent’s large portfolio of private male nude drawings and paintings display his sensual and romantic approach to painting men.  John Singer Sargent lives on as one of the greatest artist that walked the earth, but he was also one of the most inspiring and important gay men that ever lived. 


@anaryawe got me thinking about the

painting of St. Sebastian by Guido Reni  used for the cover of Violin.* And I know not every dude-w/-his-hands-tied-above-his-head counts as a St. Sebastian reference but still, it’s interesting to consider whether it might be.

“St Sebastian (feast day January 20th) has become something of a gay icon, as saints go. Partly, perhaps, because it’s an opportunity to depict a curly-haired semi-nude youth in light bondage. It has to be said this isn’t how Sebastian died, or how he was originally depicted. Sebastian miraculously survived being shot with arrows and was healed by Irene of Rome. He continued to denounce the emperor Diocletian, who had him clubbed to death in the year 288.

The tendency to depict Sebastian as a handsome youth pierced with arrows began in the 14th Century when Europe was being ravaged by the plague of the Black Death.

See how the two ‘Sebastians’ in the modern version above look entirely unperturbed by the arrows protruding from their torsos?There is a long tradition of Sebastian looking unaffected by his plight: corruption fails to touch him and that made him proof against plague. Sebastian occupied an important place in medieval religion as a protector against plague. He was seen as a saint whose prayers would work.”   [X]

*The lighting on the cover may be distorting the colors and contrast of the original painting, and I’m not even sure that’s the original painting, got that from here [X]… but these changes seem obvious:

  • changed the trees in the BG,
  • blended the nips in a little more by changing their color,
  • rounded his face somewhat (tho, that O could be just making it look rounder)
  • moved the armpit arrow,
  • added a tummy arrow,
  • changed the angle of Left Ribcage Arrow a little bit,
  • lengthened his hair a little,
  • reduced the shadows in the Adonis muscle area, too sexy?
  • cropped his package area out