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.
Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.