Erotic art is as old as humanity, and most ancient civilizations made sculptures and paintings with hidden and explicit erotic motifs.
The word erotica comes from the Greek word eros, which means love. It is used to describe human anatomy that sexually stimulates us, i.e., excites us, and all that through an artistic prism - be it in literature, in film, in painting, or even speech, photography, play.
That is why the arts, which undoubtedly include erotica, are the only knowledge that leads a person towards himself.
The human body is shown in a sexual tone but primarily and shown from artistic aspirations. In eroticism and erotic art, the sexual act does not have to be displayed, and it is a fascinating area in that regard.
Pornography, unlike erotica, is a depiction of a sexual act with the goal of sexual arousal and sexual vent. In pornography, not only the anatomy of the human body is represented as an artistic stimulus, but the sexual act is presented more explicitly, and such a presentation carries less artistic value.
Where do art end and kitsch begin? There is a difference between erotica and pornography, but there is also a constant confusion of these terms, leading to confusion and reducing art to a biological need.
Erotica is inspiring, and pornography serves as a center for authors' and readers' mental and sexual vent.
Erotic art is a suggestion, an allusion, an expectation of the obsession it contains; as soon as it loses its symbolism and decorativeness and is reduced to a bare description of a sexual act, it becomes pornography.
And that's where the value of true erotic art is found.
The works of artists like Edouard Manet and Katsushika Hokusai, who painted erotic visions of Venus and sensual hugs of octopuses and naked girls, probably don't resonate in your memory, which is understandable since these paintings originated long before the advent of collective memes.
Let us recall the seductive sides of erotic art paintings.
Francisco De Goya: Naked Maja
The painting, created around 1800, will go down in history as the first profane act in Western art and among the first works to contain an explicit depiction of pubic hair. At the time of its inception, the Catholic Church banned the display of nudes, so Goya's masterpiece was never on display during his lifetime.
Katsushika Hokusai: Dream Of The Fisherman's Wife
There is no ambiguity about the erotic charge of this painting. A Japanese direction of erotic art called shunga depicts a fisherman's wife in a unique octopus clinch.
Hieronymus Bosch: Garden Of Delights
In addition to terrifying creatures that are obviously out of this world, the famous Dutch painter also describes sensual erotic art pleasures. The series of paintings were created between 1490 and 1510 and brought the whole carnival of sins, in which people, animals, plants, and mermaids roll.
Paul Cezanne: Seven Swimmers
Cezanne is known for various depictions of naked swimmers. 'Seven Swimmers' portrays exclusively naked men, although many of them are androgynous-looking. The way in which the artist plays with the classic presentations of the body and the relationship between the viewer's vision and nudity leads to marginal erotic art aesthetics. It is assumed that the painter could not see the model 'in action,' so he made this painting based on memory and imagination.
Titian: Venus Of Urbino
Mark Twain once called the great painter's work 'the dirtiest, most obscene painting in the world.' The woman painted in 1538 undoubtedly radiates eroticism and sex appeal with undisguised nudity and a penetrating gaze towards onlookers.
Gustav Klimt: Frau Bei Der Selbstbefriedigung
The most important painter of the Austrian Art Nouveau with a distinctly refined symbolist style, he is best known for his paintings 'The Kiss' and the portrait of 'Adele Bloch-Bauer I.' His other paintings are numerous acts of great sensual intensity, but none is as erotic as this portrait of a woman masturbating.
Peter Paul Rubens: Leda And The Swan
This one is truly an erotic art masterpiece. For early 17th-century audiences, it was more acceptable to portray a woman who had sex with a bird than with a man. 'Ice and Swan' is a motif of the Greek myth of Zeus, who seduces the beauty of Ice in the form of a swan.
Miyagawa Isshō: Spring Pastimes
Made in 1750, the shunga depicts two men, a samurai and a kabuki theater actor disguised in women's clothing to perform the play.
Edouard Manet: Olympia
The artist exhibits a portrait of a naked woman based on Titian's depiction of Venus. This image provoked great attention and complaint from academic circles due to the so-called 'unorthodox realism.' Judging by the writings of Antonin Proust, the image of a prostitute was so scandalous that it was preserved only thanks to the security guards at the first exhibition, as viewers wanted to tear it apart and take it off. Nowadays, it is one of the most famous pieces of erotic art.
Jean-Honoré Fragonard: Swing
The masterpiece of Rococo from 1767 is symbolic and focused on a young woman who found herself at the center of an extramarital affair. Hidden in the left corner at the bottom is a man peeking out from under a woman's skirt and chasing her fallen shoe.
Pablo Picasso: Ladies Of Avignon
A painting in which the artist presented the world as if in a broken mirror. He allegedly shows prostitutes from a brothel in Barcelona.
Egon Schiele: Friendship
Despite the title, the subtext of eroticism in the embrace of man and woman is obvious.
Diego Velázquez: Sleeping Venus
The woman in the portrait absorbs pleasure from looking in the mirror. The painting, which was created between 1647 and 1651, marked by Spanish public contempt for nudity, is unusually bold and erotic.
Gustave Courbet: The Origin Of The World
A controversial realistic erotic artwork from 1866. Words are superfluous.