Thursday, January 30, 2014

Venus of Urbino Response

             In class we had a long detailed discussion about two very unique paintings, in regards to what could be seen, the meaning of the painting, and how it makes you feel.  The painting that caught my eye and really made me think was the piece done by the Italian oil painter Tiziano , called Venus of Urbino, which was made in 1538.  The naked woman laying down on the bed is supposed to resemble the Goddess named Venus who is staring into the eyes of all her viewers who are studying her promiscuous body language.  When I looked at this painting I was confused because I did not fully understand what the story was and why the woman was naked.  In this blog entry I am going to explain what the painting meant to me, then I am going to explain what is actually going on after I did some research of my home to better understand this fascinating oil painting. 

              This oil painting is clearly erotic and when I was studying the piece I noticed that the woman was quite pudgy with a bushel of grapes in her hand.  I started to think that she was just some spoiled rotten woman that loves to seduce people because one: she is pretty plump and has a bushel of grapes in her hand (Not sure if those are actually grapes in her hand) Two: her facial expression honestly has that “I want you here in my bed” type stuff.  Also, in the background there is a woman standing and a teenage girl kneeling and that made me think that the woman standing is some kind of maid that punishes the naked woman’s children for her while she sits back and relaxes all erotically and what not eating her heart out with God knows what.  I was also thinking what the adolescent girl was praying, but why would she be praying behind a naked woman?  Doesn’t that seem a bit strange and just plain weird?

              When this painting popped up on the screen in class I sort of felt weird and awkward because more than half of the class is girls, so I just felt funny that there would be a naked women shown in front of all the females in the class.  I then got the idea that maybe this painting is showing how the female anatomy is beautiful no matter what size or shape since the woman in the oil painting is not in the best shape.  I understand that we still continue to live in a society where women can be seen as sex objects because of MTV and all that erotic modeling stuff, but this painting just reminded me of the society we live in regarding how women can sometimes be seen by men, which is not right at all.  The only sculpture that I know about that shows a naked man is the David piece made by Michelangelo.

              The real story behind the Venus of Urbino oil painting is that it was made for Duke of Camerino Guidobaldo della Rovere in regards to his marriage.  It is believed that the painting resembles marital love and intimacy since the naked woman is holding a posy of roses which symbolize love. (Not a bushel of grapes)  Also, the sleeping dog is believed to resemble fidelity.  The females in the background are both maids that are looking for clothing for the naked woman, most likely a trousseaux.  I was surprised when I found all of this out because I was way off with my conclusion about the painting beforehand.  It was not odd to find a lot of paintings and different types of work to have a naked woman laying down erotically during the renaissance period.   


1 comment:

  1. Jimmy,
    I think one of the strengths of your piece is your voice -- your perspective and tone of voice even seems to come through in this essay. Some of the tools you used to convey your voice is sharing your feelings (e.g. I felt funny) and your thought processes as you examined this painting. You also provide a lot of your conclusions as a reader (e.g. the woman in the painting is not in the best shape, the girl was praying). This gives me insights into your thinking and bolsters your voice. I appreciated your conclusion that ties into the history of the painting. Nice way to conclude!
    One area to work on in future writings is to add a bit more observation/detail before providing your conclusions. e.g. what made you think the woman was out of shape? Providing a few more details will help the reader follow your logic even more. Super writing!