Friday, February 12, 2010
Art Slam Friday
Depiction of the rape of Small Kraut and Tall Kraut by Perseus, Surfer Joe and Ponygirl.
Not really. It's 'Rape of the Sabine Women' by Picasso.
Here's Ovid's explanation:
It was you, Romulus, who first mingled the cares of love with public games, that far-off day when the rape of the Sabine women gave wives to your warriors who had waited for them so long. No curtains then hung in the marble theatre, nor was the stage made red with liquid saffron. In those days branches from the woods of the Palatine were the only adornment of our simple stage. The people sat on seats of turf, their heads canopied with boughs.
As soon as he had sat him down, each Roman looked about, marking the woman whom he most desired, giving free play to the thoughts that surged within him. Whilst to the sound of a rustic pipe an actor strikes his foot three times upon the levelled earth, amid the unforced applause of the expectant throng (for in those days applause was neither bought nor sold), Romulus signed to his men to seize upon their prey. In a trice, with shouts that made their object clear, they laid their eager hands upon the cowering women. Even as the weak and timid doves flee before an eagle, even as a young lamb quails at the sight of a wolf, so shuddered the Sabine women when they beheld these fierce warriors making towards them. Every one turned pale, terror spread throughout the throng, but it showed itself in different ways. Some tore their hair; some swooned away; some wept in silence; some called vainly for their mothers; some sobbed aloud; others seemed stupefied with fear; some stood transfixed; others tried to flee. Nevertheless, the Romans carry off the women, sweet booty for their beds, and to many of them, terror lends an added charm.
If one shows herself too rebellious and refuses to follow her ravisher, he picks her up and, pressing her lovingly to his bosom, exclaims, "Why with tears do you thus dim the lovely radiance of your eyes? What your father is to your mother, that will I be to you." O Romulus, you are the only one who has ever known how to reward his soldiers; for such pay, I would willingly enrol myself beneath your banners. Ever since those days, the theatres, faithful to this ancient custom, have always been a dangerous lure to loveliness.
Here's some more visuals that depict the incident, by Sussman (the photo, which I think is a still from a movie she made), Rubens, Possin and David.