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Title: The sensuous and sensual : painting in Baroque Malta
Authors: Formosa, Rachel
Keywords: Art, Baroque -- Malta
Sensuality in art
Temptation in art
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The aim of this dissertation is to trace the role of sensuousness and sensuality in Baroque paintings, in Malta, both those produced locally and those imported during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Negative and positive evidence of these pictorial representations in their varied manifestations or guises form the main argument of this thesis. The period in question is also marked by one of the few instances where Malta exported art. The objective of this thesis is to discuss a group of paintings which provide substantial evidence for the argument in question. To date, no attempt in major publications has been made to address this theme. The methodology applied in this dissertation is dictated by the ideas or purposes by which the recurring themes of the period were composed. The qualitative research carried out accentuates the clearest patterns identified. This in turn, permits juxtaposition for contrast or emphasis. The paintings selected are distributed within the structured content of the thesis with the same structure acting as a thematic benchmark. Thus, for example, in paintings depicting the Old Testament story of Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, in order to emphasise Joseph’s chastity, Potiphar’s wife is traditionally painted in the nude to accentuate her as a seductive prowess, which observation takes priority and is categorized accordingly in the section dealing with Temptation and Redemption. The same thing applies also to Diana, who, although at the time was considered to be a milder version of the Renaissance Venus, despite her being known as the chaste virgin, she still belongs to the Eros and Eroticism section. In turn the paintings are analysed with the support of theological, philosophical and mythological texts where it is relative and are aligned to the main line of argumentation within the structured thesis. An attempt is made, therefore, to follow the Warburgian twofold model in his address of what cultural functions, including religion, poetry, myth, and science, society and the state mean for the pictorial imagination; and what the image in turn means for these other functions. Further acknowledgement is made towards the department for supporting the proposed field of research.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2012

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