The art of Robert R Bliss, 1925–1981


Standing boy pulling ropes (1962).

The chiaroscuro above looks like a photo print but is actually a painting. I’ve seen Bliss’s name mentioned a few times before but he remains rather difficult to track down online, most of the visible works being on auction sites. What there is consists mostly of young men in swim suits, to a degree which seems like an idée fixe given the lack of nudes or variation in the poses.


left: Standing boy with red trunks (1961); right: Boy with oar (no date).

In a career outline on the Leslie-Lohman site there’s this curious paragraph:

Bliss…after 20 years of alcoholism, discovered LSD. After that he completely stopped drinking. His work then completely shifted to colorful landscapes as well as psychedelic visionary paintings.

I’ve not been able to find any of this psychedelic work at all. If anyone knows of any, please leave a comment.

Update: Added a few more examples of his male studies.


Seated Boy (1950).


Swinging Boy (1959).


Yellow Shirt (1963).


Kneeling Male Athlete (1964).

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