Knout is the English transliteration of the the Russian word кнут (knut), which means “whip”.
Knouts were used in Russia for flogging as formal corporal punishment of criminals and political offenders, at least since the rule of Ivan III in the fifteenth century. The victim was tied to a whipping post or a triangle of wood and stripped, receiving the specified number of strokes on the back. A sentence of 100 or 120 lashes was equivalent to a death sentence, but with heavier types of knout, already twenty blows could kill.
When doing some more research I came across two stories, about Madame Lapuchin knouted by order of Elizabeth Empress of Russia and the story about Madame Kalerdgi.
These stories had put me on a quest, I wanted to see if there were multiple artworks related to these historical events.
Of course this also opened an option to create a page for the Knout as spanking implement. I had my doubts about this because it is a extremely harsh instrument, so when looking at the artworks please take in mind that I am trying to share a little history and not approve on these types of torture.
For me the pleasure of spanking can only exist between adults who both agree on the dynamics of their spanking interactions.
A French paper, the ‘Progrès’ makes the following statement : “Madame Kalerdgi, who received the Knout in Warsaw, for having, according the Augsburger Gazette, kept up correspondence with the Propaganda in Paris, is niece of M. de Nesselrode. But it is not owing to a correspondence with that Propaganda, but because she aided the escape of count Dombrowski, the husband of one of her intimate friends that she had to suffer that dreadful punishment. Countess Orloff, the aunt of the minister, was whipped for having received persons in her home who were disjoined(?) towards the government. If we give the names of these illustrious victims, it is to show that the knout of the Czar spares nothing, innocence, youth, beauty or devotion – even beyond the limits of Russia”
A lovely woman, elegant, refined, she possessed all the good manners and delicate charm of the ladies of the court of Louis XV.The salon she held in P e tersburg was the most eclectic in the city.The prettiest and wittiest ladies, artists and the aristocracy met there and everyone came to pay their respects to this charming mistress of the house.Very open, Madame Lapuschin’s salon rubbed elbows with all of high society, including politicians.It gave asylum, without knowing it, to the leaders of parties who plotted revolutions.Compromised by this carelessness, she was arrested and taken to the Peter-and-Paul fortress to be judged by a court of excessive severity.
Her Imperial Majesty Elisabeth II of Russia showed “great clemency” towards Madame Lapuschin who was condemned to receive the knout in the public square. (The conspirators were condemned to have their tongues cut out and beaten alive.)
The day came for the execution of the sentence, a large crowd crowded in front of the scaffold despite the great cold. Unconscious, Madame Lapuschin received the knout until the expiry of the figure fixed by the sentence.Brought back to prison, she spent eight days between life and death.Restored, but dishonored forever, she retired far from the world to devour her humiliation in silence.