Sadie Lee and Her Voluptuous Lesbian Rococo Fantasies
Marijn Kruijff
2 min

Sadie Lee and Her Voluptuous Lesbian Rococo Fantasies

2 min

The British artist Sadie Lee (1967), famous for her feminist-themed paintings, was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. She followed her education at the Epsom School of Art and later studied mural painting and marbling at the Hackney Institute. At 21, she moved to London.

Instant Hit

Lee’s debut was also her breakthrough. A friend entered the first painting she produced (‘Erect (c) the artist‘ – 1992) without her knowing it to the BP Travel Award in 1992. The organizers were impressed and used the painting for their publicity posters that were on display at every London Underground station. The print became an instant hit and, although this was her first and only painting until then, she was offered a solo show at the Manchester Art Gallery right away.

sadie lee

Fig.1. ‘Erect (c) the artist‘ (1992)

Picket Fence Voyeurism

On her site Sadie Lee mentions the following influences: 1920’s Classicism, 1970’s lounge kitsch culture, 1960’s drug induced psychosis, 1950’s American picket fence voyeurism, film director David Lynch, French fashion designer Coco Chanel, and the music group The Osmonds.


Recently my attention was drawn to the artist’s provocative paintings that were part of a duo exhibition called ‘Obscene and Pornographic Art ‘ (2016), that displayed her and Matthew Stradling’s work.

Vintage Porn

This series of realistic and graphic traditional oil paintings “rebel” against the allegorical Rococo art of the 18th century French artist François Boucher (1703-1770). Lee is known for her graphic oil paintings of real people, but for this series she used vintage porn pics as ‘models’ and mixed it with Boucher’s Rococo pieces (see Fig.7), adding a contemporary twist to the compositions.

Celestial Nudes

The stylized celestial nudes of Boucher’s paintings have been replaced with painted images of porn actresses from 1970’s pornography. In an interview she explained ‘People think when you’re subverting an image like that you’re in some way criticizing it, but I grew up loving these images.’ So these paintings are not a critique but a homage. She tries to bring them up to date and have François Boucher for the digital age.

female making love to another female using a strap-on dildo surrounded by cherubs by Sadie Lee


lesbian quartet with three white and one black female with two flying cherubs by sadie lee

Fig.3. ‘After the bath‘ (2014)

lesbian threesome with one female performing cunnilingus and two females kissing by sadie lee


lesbian encounter in the 69 pose with two flying cherubs against dramatic clouds by sadie lee


painting called Narcissi by sadie lee

Fig.6. ‘Narcissi II (Unfinished painting)’ by Sadie Lee

Jupiter, in the Guise of Diana, and Callisto' (1763) by François Boucher

Fig.7. ‘Jupiter, in the Guise of Diana, and Callisto‘ (1763) by François Boucher (Photo source:

Click HERE for another contemporary artist who fuses vintage erotica, ancient Asian erotic art (shunga) and 17th century baroque…!!

Website of Sadie Lee

Photo sources Fig.2, 3, 4 and 5 –

Do you think these paintings by Sadie Lee respect Boucher’s art?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below….!!