Agostino Carracci, Italian Late Renaissance/Early Baroque painter, was born on the 6th of August 1557 and died on the 22nd March, 1602. One of the main aims of this article, initially, was to raise interest in this little-known artist. Since first posting this in March, however, some things have changed. I’ll address that later on.
“The Penitent Magdalene:”
As I stated earlier, he drew beautiful drawings depicting the joy and pleasure of human love, generally involving important figures from mythology such as Mars (Ares) the God of War and Aphrodite. These drawings are skilfully done with great precision.
I thought it would be interesting to show the kind of art that was around in the early 1600s, which helps to show the kind of physical appearance that was sexually alluring. Very different to what is generally considered attractive today! All images are from Wikimedia Commons, and I have been instructed to remove the link.
Instructed, you ask? Why yes, I received an email stating that the ads on my site were going to be taken down by Google Adsense because I was in violation of the terms due to the sexual content of the images:
“Violation: Google ads may not be placed on adult or mature content. This includes any site which contains:
pornographic images, videos, or games
pornographic cartoons or anime (hentai/ecchi)
Action required: Please make changes to your site within 72 hours. Please be aware that if changes are not made within the required time frame, ad serving will be disabled to the affected website listed above.”
What a load of rubbish. Anyone who knows me knows that I am very much against Internet pornography. I do not believe these drawings are pornographic, they are historical art and of historic value.
This is a history website, these images are not out of place, they are perfectly suitable for being shown here as they demonstrate one part of this artist’s work. Needless to say, I was very upset about this.
Sadly, in order to appease the blatant hypocrisy of those in power who allow gratuitous hyper-sexualised content from Vevo, etc, (targeted to youth) and yet cannot allow tasteful historic art which is appropriate to the overall theme of this website (targeted to adults), I have covered up the offending images and stopped the ads from appearing on this article.
Yes! The images are covered up just like the damnable Victorians covered up nudity on ancient works of art with their silly fig leaves!
I think my site should be able to have content relating to ALL aspects of 17th Century life! How dare Google call this “pornography”? It isn’t – it is historically relevant art from my specialist area! I’ll be damned if I let them say it shouldn’t be on this site.
The past was not all pretty dresses and fairy tales, it was about everything in life – including copulation, which is as natural as birth, death, eating, urinating and defecating. Egads! If Google thought this was bad, they had better avoid my forthcoming book about the Duke of Monmouth! 😉
Even those inclined to be prudish shall no longer be shocked at the following images, for they have been dealt with as instructed. I think Carracci’s work, particularly his sketches and drawings, are very accomplished and it is for this reason do I feel that I will keep them on show.
Forgive me, I digress. Onto the engravings!
Paris et Oenone: First, we have Paris of Troy with his wife, Oenone. Paris, of course, later abandoned Oenone when he became besotted by Helen of Sparta, thus beginning the ten-year-long Trojan War. Gosh, I love Homer:
Jupiter et Juno: Next, we have the king and queen of the Gods – Jupiter (Zeus) and Juno (Hera). These mythological figures were often sparring with each other, as Juno was rightly angered and jealous about Zeus’s constant philandering:
Mars et Venus: Now, the ever-popular Goddess of Love and Beauty, Aphrodite (Venus) and her warrior lover, Ares (Mars) the God of War. Aphrodite was married to the hunchbacked blacksmith Hephaestus. Look at how Carracci depicts how Ares has thrown his armour down to give in to the joys of passion. I love how Carracci formed the musculature of his male figures, whilst retaining the soft flesh of the females:
Achille et Briseis: Last, we have an image of Achilles and his love, Briseis. Now, if you’ve read Homer’s The Iliad (which I hope you have) you’ll know that Briseis was a princess whom Achilles took as war booty and fell in love with. I want you to see not only a couple in an intimate pose, but the detail of the engraving. Look at the perspective Carracci has done – something not often found in art from his period. Note the folds of the bed curtains and the creases of the mattress. It is very well done:
I know, I know, I’ve been a little immature, but I was, and am, upset about this. When you look at the whole site, this is just a tiny portion of the content.
Anyway, the point was for you to view Carracci’s work, and I hope you were able to enjoy the little you were able to see here.
For more works by Carracci, check out: