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Disability or Genius
All European Rejects
Andy Goldsworthy - Playing in the Woods
Architecture In Fashion
Art Bands' Art
Art Bands' Art II
Art in the sixties
Art Nouveau in Advertising
Artist's Best Friend
Arts and Crafts Movement
Beauty - What Is It?
Bling Through the Ages
Brains Behind Art
Building Steven's Universe
Challenge What You Find Beautiful
Chinese Funerary Practices Throughout History
Cloaking and Masking in Dada and Surrealism
Comic Books and how they provide commentary on society
Currently in Progress
Dark Side of Human Nature
Depression in Art
Disability or Genius
Disney and Its Hidden Art History References
Don't Go with the Crowd
Earth Without Art is just Eh
Effects of Synesthesia on Art
Fashion Designers Who Stole from Art History
Fractals in Art
Goya and political art
Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele
Hidden Self Portraits
Hips Don't Lie
I Pad Art
If Picasso Can Do It... So Can You
Intentional Exaggeration and Distortion of Human Form
Life After Death
Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous
Muses of Leonardo Da Vinci
Ninth Grade Art History Unit
Oh Baby Baby
Picasso and Stravinsky
Poetry and Art
Sports in Art
Structures in Paintings
Subjects in Photography- Old versus New Photography
Taring Padi and the Indonesian Underground
The Artist and the Environmentalist
the Birth of art schools
The Development of Film's Narrative Language
The Evolution of Chinese Funerary Practices
The evolution of pigments
The Forgotten Photographer
The History of the MoMA
The Impact of Impasto
The Influence of Classical Artworks and Art Movements on Contemporary Media
The Modern Age of Comic Books
The Perfect Heist
To Serve the People
Transition to Realism in Soviet Propaganda
Visionaries - Artist of the Mind, Body, and Soul
Water, the Essence of Life
What is a Shadow?
Whatcha Looking at Funny?
Women & Romanticism
You Can't Spell Paint without Pain
Forbidden Love and it's depiction through Art
Throughout history, art has contained subjects including the scandalous matter of forbidden love. In the popular company of such couples as Romeo and Juliet, and Adam and Eve, artists have focused on this subject for several decades. Included in these are several works by Jean Honore Fragonard, Botticelli, and Rodin. This subject grabs the attention of viewers because of its risque nature, and sauciness. It is different, and not seen every day. Containing a certain degree of drama, forbidden love has and continues to be a staple of subject matter for artists.
The Meeting, Jean Honore Fragonard, 1773
Jean Honore Fragonard was famous for his frivolous paintings in the Rococo period. Born in 1732 in France, Fragonard was noted for his genre paintings of eroticity and risque nature. Through a series titled, "The Progression of Love", painted for Madame du Barry, the mistress of Henry XV, he depicts several event in the evolution of love. This series was to appear at Louveciennes (the love nest). "The Meeting" was included in this series. Ironically, this piece depicts two lovers secretly meeting. In this piece, the woman is frantically running toward her lover, trying not to be seen. Her lover stands guard awaiting her arrival, and ready to help her over the baracade so they can be with each others company.
The Fall of Man, Albrecht Durer,
The popular biblical narrative of Adam and Eve was taken on by Albrecht Durer in the form of an engraving. In this piece, "The Fall of Man", Durer shows Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil entwined with the serpent. It retells the story of Adam and Eve betraying God's wishes to satisfy their own sexual desires. This piece stands as source of foreshadow, for they are are about to embark on their lust.
The Swing, Jean Honore Fragonard, 1776
This piece, also by Jean Honore Fragonard, is one of his most famous works. The woman is being pushed on the swing by her husband, who is hidden in the shadows. The young man sitting in the bushes is presumably gazing up her skirt, while the husband is unnaware of this affair. Fragonard has placed many playful, sexual symbols in this piece. The womans young lover is seen with his arm erected, and outstretched toward her. This symbolizes an erection, and serves as a playful jab at their affair.The woman is playfully flinging her shoe at him, as a symbol of the loss of virginity. This piece was a commisioned portrait origianlly for the artist Doyen, but when he refused, the commission was passed on to Fragonard.
Kitagawa Utamora is one of the most famous Japanese woodblock printers of all time. In this piece lovers are seen making love. The woman is a waitress, and the man is a high class business man, which makes this couple extremely forbidden at the time. This piece was all extremely risque and raunchy, considering the subject matter. This couple would not be socially acceptable, therefore making their relationship entirely forbidden.
Poem of the Pillow, Kitagawa Utamaro
The Burila of Atala, Anne Louis Girodet
There's no mistake that Girodet's, Burial of Atala is simply beautiful. It showcases pleasant lighting, and imaging. Both mystic, and enchanting, Girodet's Burial of Atala can surely please many. The story behind it is also appealing. It is derived from François- René de Chateaubriand’s tragic love story, Atala, or the Loves of Two Savages in the Desert. Atala takes a vow of marriage to God and is a devout Christian.Since she is then married to God, and can not have relations with lovers, she can not be with Chactas. When she feels she is falling in love with Chactas, she poisons and kills herself. In this painting, Chactas is seen mourning her body. After her death, Chactas himselfs takes a vow to Christianity.
Venus and Mars, Sandro Botticelli
In this piece by the Italian Reanissance master, Sandro Botticelli paints an ode to mythology. Here Venus, the goddess of love is cloathed in a decadent white and gold gown, watching over the sleeping Mars. Mars, the god of war is peacefully sleeping, only in a little white loin cloth. However, Venus, is married to Vulcan, the god of fire. The satyrs are playing with all of his war equipment, while he is doing so. Botticelli uses this subject as a way to show the conquering power of love even in the strongest of men. In the lower right hand corner, one of the satyrs has a piece of datura stramonium, which is said to cause the urge to take ones clothes off in mythology. Many studies are still occuring today to find out exactly what the satyr is holding.
The Kiss, Auguste Rodin, 1889
In this piece, Rodin focuses on the graceful composition of the lovers. In this piece, the woman who is modeled after Frencesca da Ramini, an Italian nobelwaman immotalized in Dante's
, falls in love with her husband, Giovanni Malatesta's, brother. While the brother also falls in love with her, they secretly meet to be with eachother. Francesca's husband soon finds out about the affair, and has them both killed.
Whether in literature, or through art, forbidden love is always present to make a dramtic statement. Scandalous in nature, it is sure to attract attention and controversey. As seen in the workd of Fragonard, Botticelli, and Durer, forbidden love was a staple to European art. Extending beyond Europe, it was also evident in the Japanese culture with Utamaro's series. One hundred years ago, and one hundred years into the future, forbidden will and always has found its way into art history.
Girodet's, Burial of Atala
Jean Honore Fragonard
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