Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Disturbing? It is All in Your Point of View.



In today's world, portraying a naked adult man in a close relationship to a naked infant would generate an outrage.  But, this 1774 terra-cotta  sculpture -- Faun Holding an Infant Faun -- was mainstream in the 18th century, I guess.  It is by Jacques-François-Joseph Saly.





Let's be clear.  I have NO problem with this lovely lady, but the full frontal nude would be a bit much in a modern American mainstream work.  Fortunately, there were no such reservations in the France of 1799.  This classical ewer is by Sigisbert- François Michel, who worked out of a Paris workshop.

Both are from the Wadsworth Atheneum's current exhibition of French works from the museum's collection.

I wonder if Google has censors . . .

24 comments:

Malyss said...

We don't ask ourself such questions in Europe.Maybe because We know classic greek and roman ancient arts. We are accostumed to such naked statues. I'm always surprised that American people have such thoughts in mind .

VP said...

Great works! Our Neptune fountain has four Nereids in the same pose of that lady, but they are also sprinkling water...

Lowell said...

A faun is half-goat. So no problem. You know what goats are like. Right?

I do like that ewer, though! That's quite incredible.

And it is likely you'll have to put that "Adult content" thingy on your blog header! :-)

Halcyon said...

Even by today's standards, I don't find these pieces shocking. I think there's alot more shocking stuff in modern art than in these pieces. Which are very nice, by the way! :)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

What a fabulous exhibition Jack, show us more!!

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

So, the question is have we progressed!

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

The French have more open minded views about body parts being depicted in art. Before the euro, they had Joan of Arc on their money in a heroic pose in which she had one breast exposed. That would never have happened in the USA.

And the Diego Rivera murals in the capitol building in Mexico City would never be allowed in the US Capitol. They might spark protest even if showed in a art museum.

Marie said...

When I was about 10 years old, my mother was "let go" as the art history professor at a local Catholic college for showing her class the statue of David and other works. She later in life added details to the story, about some "flippant" remarks she said to a student about a painting. These may have added to her crime. Something to do with "virginity" and how only a doctor could answer the student's questions.
I can't imagine this happening now, but I could be wrong...

Taken For Granted said...

Art is interpreted through the lens of current moral norms and values. These are ever changing, but we have yet to fully escape our Victorian sense of modesty here in the U.S. Perhaps the artist was attempting to portray beauty and tenderness. If so I think he succeeded. These are fine photos of great art.

Sylvia K said...

I think these are fantastic, Jack!! I'm afraid some of the "morals" in our country are seriously screwed, but I won't go any further with that thought! Thank you for sharing these, I love them!! Wishing you and your family a most wonderful, safe and beautiful Merry Christmas!!

Sharon said...

I loved reading all the comments above as well as your post and beautiful photos. When I was in Italy back in May, we took a tour of the Vatican Museum with an art historian. It was so very educational. She talked about the period when some of the statues and paintings were 'adjusted' to cover the nakedness. Thankfully, most of the works are now viewed in their originality.

Ali Crehan said...

In my humble opinion, we spend far to much time getting worked up about nudity and far too little time getting worked up about violence in this country.

RedPat said...

It's so odd how violence is okay to show even on TV but a bit of tasteful nudity gets some people so riled up. It's a strange world.

cieldequimper said...

I agree with Malyss.

What could be more tender than father and son? Not all relationships between fathers and children are... well... you know...

Karl Demetz said...

I'm with Malyss and Ciel.

This is Art and your photos are splendid.

Stefan Jansson said...

Ha, you sure are prude over there. Great works of art they are.

Michelle said...

America was founded by Puritans and so the value of artistic nudity was lost on our culture, I think. However, it is strange that violence is so accepted.

Joan Perry; Sidewalk Curator said...

They really are lovely. What talent!

Randy said...

Not my kind of art but I am sure there are fans out there.

Kate said...

I cannot imagine anyone objecting to artistic nudity. I don't think that Americans are that provencial or puritanical. I'd love to own these pieces!

Lynette said...

Your visits to the museum(s) are always a treat, Jack. Thanks for taking us along.

Valladolid Daily Photo said...

Love the last one, thanks for sharing.

JM said...

Great job, Jack! Wonderfully composed detailed shots.

CaT said...

hahaha, you are right..