The pleasures of the flesh have been celebrated in erotic art for millennia. In some paintings, the meanings are subtle and implied, but others are far more explicit. Here are our top five kinkiest scenes in classic art.

Kinkiest scenes in classic art 1: Jean-Honoré Fragonard The Swing, 1767

Presenting a heady combination of foot and upskirt fetishes is The Swing, by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. It is also known as The Happy Accidents of the Swing, which kind of says it all. The painting was completed in 1767 as a commission for Baron de St. Julien, a French libertine; who was in the throes of a passionate affair with a married woman.

On the swing is his lover and behind her in the shadows is her husband. In front, gazing into the folds of her dress, is the Baron himself. He specifically requested that he be placed “ a position where I can observe the legs of that charming girl. " His hand reaching out to her casually open legs is a playful and flirtatious move.

The sheer pleasure on her face. The kicked off shoe slowly falling towards her lover emphasises the kinky bond between the two of them and one of the kinkiest scenes in classic art.

Kinkiest scenes in classic art 2: Peter Paul Rubens* after Michelangelo Leda and the Swan, 1601

Having sex with a swan may seem a bit extreme, even to the most sadomasochistic zoo girl. It’s worth remembering that in ancient times the gods were often thought to walk the earth in animal form. That meant if a swan, goat or horse seemed to be giving you the eye, it wasn’t you being a pervert, it was divine intervention.

Leda is thought to be Helen of Troy’s mother. In this myth, she is visited by Zeus in the form of a swan. Ironically, artists at this time often chose to show erotically charged scenes between women and animals because they were not allowed to depict two humans having sex. It certainly makes for one of the kinkiest scenes in classic art.

*This is a copy of Michelangelo’s original because many of his works are now lost.

Kinkiest scenes in classic art 3: Katsushika Hokusai The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, 1814

The origins of tentacle porn can probably be traced back to this brazen depiction of an ama* diver (a woman who worked in the sea free-diving for pearls) experiencing octopus oral. While one octopus down on her, the other caresses her naked body with its tentacles. They kiss. Her closed eyes and thrown back head show how much fun she’s having.

Underneath, her body is supported by an octopus as one of her nipples is being softly toyed with. BDSM involving animal play is pretty common. By illustrating a lone pearl diver being sexually gratified by two huge beasts, The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife takes it to a new level, as another one of the kinkiest scenes in classic art.

Kinkiest scenes in classic art 4: Hieronymus Bosch The Garden of Earthly Delights 1503

Think of a random S&M practice, and it’s likely you’ll find it nestled amongst the mass orgy of erotic art that is The Garden of Earthly Delights. Men, women, animals, fish, mermaids and many other strange entities take part in an eye-popping parade of sinful activity and sensual lust.

There are also depictions of torture, as a knight in full armour appears to be gnawed on by rats. There is a bird-like creature which eats humans alive then excretes them into a dark hole below.

Bosch was interested in religion, creationism and our eventual descent into hell. Judging by the acres of flesh on show, he’d decided that lust played a significant part in that journey.

Kinkiest scenes in classic art 5: Egon Schiele Woman with Black Stockings 1913

If you’ve ever lusted after someone in black stockings during a bondage scene or enjoyed being lusted after while wearing them, you’ll appreciate the aesthetic power of Egon Schiele’s Woman with Black Stockings.

The woman is his lover, Valerie Neuzil, who had a pretty tempestuous relationship with the artist. She stood by him throughout numerous re-locations around Europe, including a charge of seducing a minor which nearly landed him in prison.

The final straw came when Schiele announced he was going to marry a locksmith’s daughter, Edith Harms, for her money. To Schiele's amazement Neuzil left, and despite him sending her regular begging letters, she never came back.

In this proud and voluptuous image, Neuzil faces us with her legs apart revealing her pink vagina and fleshy thighs. The effect of her black stockings is enhanced by a raised pure white cotton petticoat and contrasting bright red garters. The pose is erotic enough on its own, but Neuzil’s confidence and knowing sideways glance make this one of the kinkiest scenes in classic art.

Why not act out one of these kinkiest scenes from classic art? Join for free and meet fellow kinksters.


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Cover image: Egon Schiele Woman with Black Stockings 1913. Wikiart. Public Domain.

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Too bad the artworks themselves are missing ;-) as art curator I feel like a blog about art should at least has some visual aspects to enjoy

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