François Boucher – Louise O’Murphy (1752)
The mistress of the king of France proudly displays her bottom in this picture from the age of the Marquis de Sade. In the 18th century of Enlightenment and spanking, Louise O’Murphy is not just nude – she is posed erotically. The artistic tradition of the nude, which goes back to ancient Greece, is sometimes wrongly imagined to be an ethereal pursuit of classic beauty. In fact, as Boucher and his model prove, it has always been and always will be about sex.