Seductive Nudes in “The Offerings” series by the Swiss Artist Boris Vansier
11 min

Seductive Nudes in "The Offerings" series by the Swiss Artist Boris Vansier

11 min

Boris Vansier (b. 1928) is a Swiss painter who was born in Soviet Russia but spent his childhood in Geneva. His avant-garde manner lies in the fragmentation of the painting, which makes it look like a colorful collage (he often uses this technique blending it with a traditional pictorial image). In his works, one can also recognize Bacon, Schiele, and Picasso, to whom he dedicated the series “Mes Picasso” full of references to the ingenious artist’s works.

Boris Vansier portrait

Fig. 1. Boris Vansier with his paintings

Life and Work

After the coming of age, Vansier moved from Switzerland to the USA and settled in New York. There he attended classes at Adelphi University. Soon after this, he enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. In 1948, Vansier relocated to Montreal and married Claude-Marie Plouvier, who later gave birth to twins Gérald and Daryl. In Montreal, Vansier met Henry Kleemann, the gallerist from New York, who offered him to exhibit his works in Kleemann gallery. After the divorce in 1954, the artist left Canada and moved to France, where he established a relationship with New Realist artists like David Lan-Bar, Raymond Hains, Frans Krajcberg, and Gigi Guadagnucci. There happened his second marriage, which was to the daughter of famous composer Arthur Honegger. In 1966, Vansier divorced his second wife, with whom he had a daughter. Being in Paris, the artist held several exhibitions and maintained his friendship with New Realists. In the 1970s, Vansier returned to Switzerland, where he still lives.

Boris Vansier erotic art

Fig. 2. Le roi du Coeur (King of Hearts)

1967, collage and paint on canvas, Diam. 105 cm

Boris Vansier erotic

Fig. 3. Esquisse pour un portrait de Vanessa

1966, paint on canvas, 50 x 50 cm

Boris Vansier abstract

Fig. 4. Invitation à la sieste (The invitation for a dream)

2012-16, mixed media on panel and canvas “double-tableau,” 75 x 111 cm

Boris Vansier abstract art

Fig. 5. Petite fille-modèle (Little female model)

1985-86, 1989, paint on canvas, 110 x 100 cm

Boris Vansier nudes

Fig. 6. Une interrogation sans point (Interrogation without the point)

1978-2007, mixed media on canvas “double-tableau,” 91.5 x 52.5 cm

Boris Vansier nude art

Fig. 7. Mensuration – 1 (Measuring)

1975, paint on canvas, 130 x 130 cm

Boris Vansier nude art

Fig. 8. Mensuration – 2

1975, paint on canvas, 130 x 130 cm

Boris Vansier offerings

Fig. 9. Corsage / L’accoudoir

1976, paint on canvas, 142 x 105 cm

Later Years

The works of this traveling painter were being exhibited throughout the world, mainly in Europe: in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Israel, and Sweden. His paintings can be found in lots of private collections. Vansier continues to paint in his home-studio, where he lives with Hiltrud Kratel, their dog Canelle and their two cats. In 2018, his son and granddaughter produced a documentary film on his art.

Boris Vansier documentary

Fig. 10. Poster of the documentary film on Boris Vansier (

Boris Vansier les mains du desir

Fig. 11. Les mains du désir / Horizon bleu

1987, mixed media on canvas, 80 x 80 cm

Boris Vansier chamber maid

Fig. 12. Offrande en chaîne – Chamber-maid

1970, paint on canvas, 230 x 130 cm

Boris Vansier provocation

Fig. 13. Bien offerte (Provocation) / La source

1970-71, paint on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

Boris Vansier atelier

Fig. 14. Untitled

1965, collage and paint on canvas, 122 x 90 cm

The Offerings

On the platform dedicated to the works of Vansier, it is stated that “The Offerings” series “caused quite a stir when first exhibited at Iris Clert’s Paris gallery in 1967. French networks and newspapers hotly debated if the art was erotic or pornographic, but that body of work evolved into the largest and most significant series in his corpus.” Vansier’s paintings often shape cycles as he returns to particular topics throughout his career. “The Offerings” series is not a group of works created in 1967, but several groups of the six decades, from the 1950s to the 2000s, with a changing manner and usage of mixed media. This avant-garde sensuality contains lots of close-ups of female genitalia, so if Courbet would have been born at the beginning of the 20th century, it’s probably what his famous “Origin of the World” had looked like.


Fig. 15. Chute libre / Tailleur Chanel (Freefall)
1966-67, paint on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

boris-vansier-nude art

Fig. 16. Untitled 1965, collage and paint on canvas, 122 x 90 cm


Fig. 17. La belle rose / Le rose te va si bien
1970, paint on canvas, 100 x 100 cm


Fig. 18. Le bon petit diable (The good little devil)
1969, paint on canvas, 153 x 153 cm


Fig. 19. La position
1967-69, paint on canvas, 146 x 114 cm


Fig. 20. À la renverse / Renversée / Féminin-singulier / La converture
1973, paint on canvas, 90 x 90 cm

Shunga Vibe

Some of the paintings from “The Offerings” series can remind you of shunga close-ups with inserted images like the piece attributed to Tomioka Eisen. Vansier’s attention to the framing of the picture, to the mosaic background for the nude, unavoidably brings to the mind textile patterns widely depicted in shunga.

boris-vansier-vulva art

Fig. 21. Offrande a ciel ouvert , 1968, mixed media, collage on canvas, 90 x 90 cm. (35.4 x 35.4 in.) (

tomioka eisen close up intercourse

Fig. 22. ‘Closeup intercourse with inserted image of the couple‘ (c.1890) attributed to Tomioka Eisen (1864-1905)


Fig. 23. L’oreiller (The Pillow)
1965-66, 2005, mixed media on canvas “double-tableau,” 110 x 110 cm


Fig. 24. Offrande suspendre – Transversale (Suspended Offering)
1969, collage and paint on canvas, 130 x 130 cm


Fig. 25. Rondeur exquise (Elegant Plumpness)
2017, mixed media on panel and canvas “double-tableau,” 112 x 90 cm

boris-vansier-petite provocation

Fig. 26. Petite provocation
2017, mixed media on panel and canvas “double-tableau,” 60 x 60 cm (base)


Fig. 27. Offrande sur canapé (The Offering on the сanape)
1999, paint on wood, 42 x 34.5 cm


Fig. 28. Croupe-Ouc
1999-2005, paint on canvas “double-tableau,” 57 x 42 cm


Fig. 29. Panoramique
1977-78, paint on canvas, 110 x 90 cm

boris vansier la courte echelle

Fig. 30. La courte échelle
1975, paint on canvas, 130 x 130 cm

boris vansier la courte echelle

Fig. 31. La courte échelle – 1
1975, paint on canvas, 130 x 130 cm

boris vansier la pose secrete

Fig. 32. La pose secrète / Tendance
1969, paint on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

boris vansier la sieste

Fig. 33. La sieste
1970, paint on canvas, 146 x 114 cm


Fig. 34. Femme d’interieur
2000, mixed media on canvas “double-tableau,” 71 x 54 cm

boris-vansier-la joyeuse

Fig. 35. La joyeuse
2012, mixed media on panel and canvas “double-tableau,” 76 x 60 cm

boris-vansier-le balcon

Fig. 36. Le balcon
2013, mixed media on panel and canvas “double-tableau,” 60 x 60 cm

boris-vansier-the midnight bath

Fig. 37. Le bain de minuit (The Midnight Bath)
2011, mixed media on paper, 100 x 70 cm

boris-vansier-belles rondeurs

Fig. 38. Belles rondeurs (Beautiful Plumpness)
2012, mixed media on panel and canvas “double-tableau,” 76 x 60 cm

boris-vansier-la reception

Fig. 39. La réception
1979, mixed media on canvas, 116 x 116 cm

boris-vansier-l'apres siieste

Fig. 40. L’après sieste (After the siesta)
1999-2003, mixed media on canvas “double-tableau,” 60 x 60 cm


Fig. 41. Untitled
1978, paint on canvas, 116 x 81 cm

boris-vansier-home strip

Fig. 42. Home strip
1977, collage and paint on paper, 116 x 89 cm

Boris' delight boris delight

Fig. 43. Boris’ delight
1980, paint on canvas, 150 x 150 cm

Boris Vansier Gynecee

Fig. 44. Gynecee
2003, mixed media on canvas, 70 x 100 cm

All images except where is mentioned are taken from


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