Sunday, 14 December 2008

Ukrainian Venus: Olga Kurylenko

No apologies for reprinting these pictures of Ukrainian super babe Olga Kurylenko, the new Bond girl from Quantum of Solace. A direct descendent, no doubt, of the Trypilian people she would make a fine shamaness in a thatched long house.

Suddenly leaping into the top three of Band girls (some say even number one) we really feel that words are totally redundant in her case.

Ukranian Venuses: the Trypilians

Agent Triple P has just attended a facinating exhibition in the Royal Ontario Museum about the mysterious Trypilian people of around 7000 years ago. They lived in what is now Ukraine, Moldova and Romania. They built uniquely large settlements for the time; numbering hundreds of houses and produced the most sophisticated neolithic pottery known.

There were several female "Venus" figures. We liked the ones who seemed to be pushing their breasts up and the slim enigmatic later one (Circa 3,500 BC).

An artist had been commisioned to produce some fine paintings of what Trypilian villages must have looked like but we think that he was letting his imagination run wild with this painting of a Trypilian priestess!

Russian Venus: Kseniya Sukhinova Miss World 2008

Congratulations to boffo boffin Kseniya Sukhinova for being voted in as Miss World yesterday. It's all (theoretically) democratic now, with everything being done by telephone vote from 180 countries rather than having a panel of TV stars, footballers and the terrifying Morleys deciding the fate of the quivering Misses from around the World as in the old days.

Agent Triple P used to enjoy Miss World on television but then there was all the nonsense about it being sexist (er, yes) and there were protests in the UK, largely organised by the father of one of our classmates (he became the most unpopular boy in the school, briefly!). It slid off mainstream TV and has ended up on satellite, usually held in South Africa for some reason. Actually, this year's contest was supposed to be in the Ukraine but obviously they didn't want to have to give the girls Kevlar swimsuits so moved to the sun of South Africa again.

Kseniya shows her form in last year's qualifying Miss Russia contest.

21-year-old Kseniya wants to be a supermodel but not until she has finished her engineering degree at the Tyumen Oil and Gas University in northwestern Siberia. (we would venture she really appreciated the sun at this time of year!). She could work on Triple P's rig or adjust our valves any day.
Kseniya's model card. We'd hire her!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Hungarian Venus: Corner of the Studio by István Csók

Corner of the studio

The remarkably long-lived Csók (1865-1961) went through many styles in his lifetime.

He studied in Budapest and Munich in the early 1880s before spending time in Paris between 1887 and 1910. He exhibited in Rome, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and London.


Later he taught at the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts, and was the president of various artistic associations and there is a museum dedicated to his work in Cece.

The dubiously titled "Honi soit qui mal y pense"

He produced a number of nudes but this dark, gypsy-looking specimen squirming in the corner of his studio is our favourite

One of his most famous pictures is his study of Erzsébet Báthory (1560-1614), the Hungarian Countess accused of killing hundreds (possibly as many as 600) of young women. Eventually she was walled up in a set of rooms in her own castle, where she died four years later before a tril could be organised.

Her behaviour sparked legends that she bathed in virgin's blood to keep her looks. Something that Hammer films happily depicted in Countess Dracula (1971) starring the magnificent Ingrid Pitt as the countess. In the opening of the film the credits are shown over the Báthory painting by Csók, showing the countess watching the torture of young girls in the snow. The original picture was lost during World War 2 although a colour sketch survives.