Fat Art in History: Part the 1st

Since I don’t have a culinary creation post to share today (I need to do more cooking and picture-snapping!) I wanted to share a few pictures and paintings that I’ve come across in my work when I have to flip through various art journals and magazines on various and sundry topics.  Feast your eyes on a bit of what I’d certainly call non-standard bodies in today’s age; painted, sculpted or photographed back years or decades or eons ago.

As I stockpile these finds I’ll add more such posts to stimulate your eye-candy pleasure! Your reminder today? Beauty is a cultural ideal.  It changes.  It is not static.  It is never more “right” at one point in time than in another.  There’s a reason the saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” continues to be such a powerful one. Diversity is not a four letter word.  Embrace it for a few moments here:

Albrecht Durer’s “Four Witches”

a 1497 engraving by the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer

a 1497 engraving by the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer

Hans Baldung Grien’s “The drunken Bacchus with putti playing”

The drunken Bacchus with putti playing

Hans Baldung Grien/Grün (c. 1484–1545) was a German Renaissance artist in painting and printmaking in woodcut. He was considered the most gifted student of Albrecht Dürer

Elizabeth Catlett’s “Pensive Figure”

pensive figure

Elizabeth Catlett Mora (born April 15, 1915) is an African-American sculptor and printmaker. Catlett is best known for the black, expressionistic sculptures and prints she produced during the 1960s and 1970s,


Lucien Freud’s “Naked Man, Back View”


1993. Freud was a British painter. One of Freud's favorite models was Leigh Bowery. Inspired by what he called Bowery's "wonderfully buoyant bulk and those extraordinary dancer's legs"

Madge Tennent’s “Lei Queen Victoria”

A renowned art educator as well as painter of modern figurative canvases of Hawaiian subjects, Madge Tennent was based primarily in Hawaii between 1930 and 1939. She was among the first artists to embrace native Hawaiians as a primary subject matter

“Venus of Dolni Vestonice”

This figurine, together with a few others from nearby locations, is the oldest known ceramic in the world, predating the use of fired clay to make pottery. The palaeolithic settlement of Dolní Věstonice in Moravia, a part of Czechoslovakia at the time organized excavation began, now located in the Czech Republic

That’s all for this bit of Fat Art in History.  Are there other artists you’ve heard of that you’d like to see here sometime?  Feel free to share in comments!


9 thoughts on “Fat Art in History: Part the 1st

  1. I’m very fond of Mary Cassatt because of her lovely paintings of mothers and children, but of course she has a lot of other stuff too. Not all her subjects are fat but many of them are plumper than you might see promoted today.

    I’ve been collecting fat art images in general and esp those pertaining to pregnancy for some time now. Glad to see someone else also doing this! It’s a good way to put to rest this idea that there weren’t any fat people in the olden days.

  2. Ohhh I love the four witches!

    There is something about it which makes me think the one in the middle is thinking – haha I could totally crush your head between my thighs if I wanted to – suck on that :p!

  3. I have always said to anyone who would listen that I was born in the wrong era! From my perspective on morals (unabashedly old fashioned) to the types of books and art I like and even to how I look and this just confirms that. Oh how I wish I had been born in the times when “fleshy” and even “rotund” was considered beautiful. Do you think that hundreds of years from now people will look back on our hero worship of the thin and emaciated and think we were out of our minds?

    • Michelle: perhaps. But sometimes I wonder if by then we’ll have evolved to fly with skin flaps or something bizarre so “beauty” will have an entirely alien connotation! But then again I read a lot of Sci Fi so I’m sure that clouds my imaginings a bit 😉

  4. Pingback: Fat Art in History: Part the 2nd « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

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