The first in-depth exploration of rape as it has been portrayed in Western art from the twelfth through seventeenth centuries. Examining the full range of representations, from those that glorify rape to those that condemn it, Diane Wolfthal illuminates the complex web of attitudes towards sexual violence that existed in the medieval and early modern society. Wolfthal first explores Italian Renaissance and Baroque images of 'heroic' rape, in which the victim seldom suffers and the crime is sanitized, aestheticized, or eroticized. These are contrasted with a range of images, mostly created in Northern Europe, that have been ignored. Often critical of the assailant and sympathetic to his victim, these works reveal that society did, in certain circumstances, severely condemn the act of rape. Wolfthal demonstrates how this range of images still influences contemporary debate about sexual violence.Read more
- First in-depth analysis of rape images in Western art
- Demonstrates how past rape imagery influences today's discourse on rape
- Winner of the Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians in the year 2000 The chapter on Christine de Pizan was published separately in the book Christine de Pizan and the Categories of Difference edited by Marilyn Desmond (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), 41-70. In thi
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'If I were asked to select the most important book on early modern European art history in 1999, I would choose Diane Wolfthal's Images of Rape …'. Sixteenth Century Journal
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- Date Published: December 2000
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521794428
- length: 304 pages
- dimensions: 255 x 178 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.74kg
- contains: 118 b/w illus.
- availability: Unavailable - out of print November 2006
Table of Contents
1. 'Heroic' rape imagery
2. Rape imagery in medieval picture Bibles
3. The children of Mars: soldiers as rapists
4. Rape imagery in the context of law: legal treatises and justice paintings
5. The greatest possible sorrow: Christine de Pizan and the representation of rape
6. Two conceptions of the sexual aggressor: the user of magical images and the married woman.
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