HERCULES IN ITALIAN RENAISSANCE ART: MASCULINE LABOUR AND HOMOEROTIC LIBIDO

Author: SIMONS, PATRICIA

Source: Art History, Volume 31, Number 5, November 2008 , pp. 632-664(33)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Abstract:

Hercules was an exemplar of moral and civic virtue when represented in Italian Renaissance art. How he embodied masculinity, however, has not been explored. A popular but complicated figure, he visualized the burdens and tensions of idealized masculinity. By examining his battle against desire, as represented in his struggle with Antaeus, this article points to multivalence and varying receptions, from moralizing allegory to erotic fantasy. It concentrates on imagery from the ‘Florentine Picture Chronicle’, Pollaiuolo, Mantegna and his circle, and Michelangelo.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8365.2008.00635.x

Affiliations: University of Michigan

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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