Titian's Marsyas as an image of the creative process

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Abstract:

This article analyses Titian's canvas The Flaying of Marsyas as, ultimately, a representation of the artist's own creative process. It links the torture inflicted on Marsyas by Apollo with ritual, liminality and eroticism, demonstrating how the logic of liminality and eroticism share features of the unconscious and the logic of affect. The Flaying of Marsyas can thus be read as a depiction of the 'torture' of the creative process in which the artist undergoes the affective experience involved in the creative act of bringing forth something previously unknown ('unconscious'). In this process, s/he is both the subject who suffers and the object s/he suffers, at the same time as remaining the observer.

Keywords: BI-LOGIC; CREATIVITY; DEATH AS SYMBOL; EROTICISM; LIMINALITY; MATTE BLANCO; SYMMETRIC LOGIC

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/jrs.2010.100303

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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