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Allegory Of Venus And Cupid Analysis

Decent Essays
The image attached is a painting - An Allegory of Venus and Cupid - by an artist named Agnolo Bronzino, who was inspired by Michelangelo in the 16th century. Painted in 1540-50, it is regarded as one of the greatest paintings ever made. It is known as “Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time” as an allegory for a various range of symbols from a mythological world. I will be using John Berger’s idea of the self-scrutiny of a female to discuss this work of art, and contrast my findings with Kenneth Clark’s ideology.
Firstly, it is important to point out the symbols embodied in the image. The main character in the painting is Venus, the goddess of love, this is projected through the golden apple in her hand and the doves in the corner. She is engaging in an incestual embrace with her son Cupid, in which they are both seen nude. John Berger reverses the naked and the nude from Clark. In Berger’s theory, nudity is the brute fact of body, which is associated with shame and vulnerability after the story of Adam and Eve disappeared and the single moment of shame took over, which is mainly actually directed at the viewer rather than towards one another. This is what is shown in the painting, Venus is not naked for herself but she is naked for the male viewer and for what he made of her. There is an uncomfortable undertone to it whereas the naked is a revelation of itself. It excludes voyeurism and is not a “sight” for males. With this idea, the nude is created for a man’s eyes, being a
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