Friday, December 30, 2022

 Campbell, again., p. 77-8

The spacing interval of the gaze, which generates pictorial depth, which generates the coherence and distinctness of bodies as they regard each other at a distance, continues to be charged with eros—as in the other works from the Ovid series, such as the Danae (versions in Naples, Capodimonte, and Madrid, Prado) and the Rape of Europa (Boston, Gardner Museum). At the same time, there is a growing sense of the insufficiency of Eros, and of the gendered codes of seeing and touching through which it is sustained. Thus, the gendering of sensory experience is taken to near parodic levels in the several versions of Venus with a Musician, a playfully bathetic and in some ways pointedly vulgar take on pictorial synaesthesia where sight, touch, and now also hearing are represented as analogous—even as seeking to transform themselves into each other—but irrevocably dichotomous. Here, the interval is what is at stake: that which defines the frankly prurient gaze of the musician, who turns to gape at the mons veneris of the reclining goddess (herself in a state of haptic absorption in Cupid’s kiss or the caress of a lap dog) as his hands are occupied with lute or pipe organ. In two of the versions (both Madrid, Prado) the (pleasurable?) discontents of specular non-possession are driven home for the beholder as his own gaze is drawn into and contained by a rigidly perspectival garden landscape, a receding line of trees picking up the diminishing row of organ pipes in the foreground. The viewer’s prospect, and the musician’s, has a mutually intersecting “climax” in the form of an upward thrusting statue of a satyr, the centerpiece of a sputtering fountain in the distance above the hand of Venus.

"Hey, lady!"

 "...the (pleasurable?) discontents of specular non-possession." Believe it or not, he's an art historian

"Thus, the gendering of sensory experience..." Just call it heteronormative. There are enough boys out there.

It's all about the feet and the lower back. This one's not my favorite but I love them all. 

Titian has a tag.

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