“Boring back views” – the scourge of the life drawing class – or are they? For anyone who’s not quite sure what I’m banging on about – in life drawing classes, everyone tends to crowd around the front of the model, so that they can get an obvious, portrait-esque, face view. I recently heard someone at a class complaining about  “boring back views”. But actually, back views can be enigmatic and very beautiful. Here are 5 of my favourites from art history.

1. Naked Man, Back View by Lucien Freud (1991-1992)

Source: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1993.71

2. Seated Woman in Underwear, by Egon Schiele (1917)

Source: http://egonschiele.tumblr.com/

3. Grand Odalisque, by Ingres(1814)

Source: http://art-quarter.com/beck/joe/aj/1/3/ingres-odalisque.html

4. Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez(1647-51)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RokebyVenus.jpg

5. Not to be Reproduced, by Rene Magritte(1937)

Source: http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/rene-magritte/not-to-be-reproduced-1937

See what I mean about back views? Now have a look at a couple great ones from the Art2Arts catalogue:

Red Hair by Carmen Tyrell

Sensual and hot blooded, there’s nothing boring about Carmen Tyrells’ back view.

Rebecca II, by Kris Hardy

Kris Hardy’s Rebecca has, as they say, “got back”.

Have a look at lots more back views, front views, top views, and even bottom views in the Art2Arts figurative section.