The Many Sides of the Beloved: Symbolism and Significance of David and Ganymede in Italian Renaissance Art
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Type of Work16 p.
DepartmentArt and Art History
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SubjectsResearch -- Periodicals.
Humanities -- Research -- Periodicals.
Social sciences -- Research -- Periodicals.
I began this paper as a look at homoeroticism in depictions of David and Ganymede in Renaissance Florence. It seemed like mostly an aesthetic question: how do these works establish their subjects as sensual and sexual creatures, and how does that reflect on their artists? As I began my research however, I was intrigued by social aspects of homosexuality in Renaissance Florence, particularly the adoption of Greek paederastia (the love of an older man for a youth). I began to see David and Ganymede as representing two sides of the beloved youth, as my title states, the youth who overcomes his lover with his beauty and the youth who is overcome by the power of an older man. Someday I hope to return to this subject and delve more deeply into the social issues involved.