Male Beauty in Art

Appreciation of the beauty of the male form in different art forms from various periods in human history. I own none of these works of art; all are found around the web. Run by: romuvulcan and mariaborgart.


Nathaniel Jocelyn, Joseph Cinqué (1840)

Sengbe Pieh (c.1814 – c.1879), later known as Joseph Cinqué, was a West African man of the Mende people and was the most prominent defendant in the case United States v. The Amistad, in which it was found that he and 51 others had been victims of the illegal Atlantic slave trade.

Nathaniel Jocelyn painted portraits of Joseph Cinqué and of the abolitionist William Lloyd GarrisonHe went on to found the National Bank Note Engraving Company. After Trumbull, he is represented by more portraits in the Yale collection than any other artist. In 1827 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full Academician in 1946.

Portrait of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange (1567-1625), Gerrit van Honthorst (1643)

 Christen Købke - Valdemar Hjartvar Købke, the Artist’s Brother (c. 1838)

Chase William Merritt (1849 - 1916), Portrait of Louis Betts 

Charles W. Hawthorne - The Fisher Boy (1908)

Portrait of a young Man, Anton Einsle (1841)

Civitas Dei (the City of God), Neo Byzantine style mosaic of the ceiling at the entrance of the Cathedral of Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Francois Boucher, Hercules and Omphale

Saint Sebastian, Jusepe de Ribera (MuMa - Musée d’art moderne André Malraux)

In this monumental painting, Ribera portrays the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Officer of the Praetorian Guard under Diocletian (3rd century), Sebastian, a secret Christian, revealed his faith when two fellow Christians were condemned to death. He was immediately sentenced to be shot with arrows and left to die, but was nursed back to health by Irene. Once again, he confronted the emperor, who had him clubbed to death and thrown in the great Roman sewer, the Cloaca Maxima.

As in other martyr scenes, the chosen iconography depicts a moment of direct communication with the Divine. The religious outpouring finds expression in the parted lips and the eyes wet with tears gazing heavenward. This large-scale Saint Sebastian is an ambitious painting that plays on the unique effect of a diagonal. While the slightly twisted body principally serves to highlight the anatomy of the torso, it also recalls the crucifixion of Christ. The right hand turned to the sky, like the saint’s gaze, is a symbol of intercession.

A short interesting discussion by Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker about Diego Velázquez’s Vulcan’s Forge (c.1630)