Thomas Hart Benton working on his painting Persephone

Development of my art skills stopped in the second grade when a teacher couldn’t recognize a watermelon in my drawing. However, I would have definitely applied more effort if I knew that a career in art allows for unlimited hours alone with nude women, who will not complain if their features will not look so flattering on the painting. It’s art, you know.
Life Magazine archives have some images of Thomas Hart Benton working on his painting “Persephone” with Imogene Bruton as a model.

Artist Thomas Hart Benton working on his painting Rape of Persephone in his studio using live nude model, while other students work alongside him.

Artist Thomas Hart Benton working on his painting Rape of Persephone in his studio using live nude model, while other students work alongside him.© Time Inc. Alfred Eisenstaedt

The following photo located on Google server was deemed in violation of adult content policies by Google. Go figure. You can still see it by clicking the link.

Students sketching nude model in painter Thomas Hart Bentons studio class at the Kansas City Art Institute. Model is the same one Benton is using for his painting Rape of Persephone.© Time Inc. Alfred Eisenstaedt

Painted clay model made by artist Thomas Hart Benton to serve as a three dimensional guide for his painting Rape of Persephone.

Painted clay model made by artist Thomas Hart Benton to serve as a three dimensional guide for his painting Rape of Persephone. © Time Inc. Alfred Eisenstaedt

© Time Inc. Alfred Eisenstaedt

© Time Inc. Alfred Eisenstaedt

Here is the final version:
benton1
More photos of Thomas Hart Benton and his works.

P.S. Nude models can apply here for free painting or just to hang out.

  • Cara

    Sadly, the middle photo of the model is more interesting than anything Thomas Hart Benton ever painted.

    PS: I know a nude model. His name is John. I’ll tell him he can come over any time. 🙂

  • I’d rather have been an artist’s model somewhere from 1500 to 1800, back when they seemed to like women with a little meat on their bones. Looking at this makes me feel guilty for not working out and dieting.

  • I like all of Benton’s work EXCEPT Persephone… never understood it, or really cared too. Very interesting story though.