The Naive and Pure: Sentimental Erotica In Sadism

You may think that I am going too far, but the dead bird in the picture represents the loss of virginity. Diderot was certainly well aware of it when he made his comment, “I wouldn’t mind being a cause of her pain.” There are times when Jean-Baptiste Greuze is a little more explicit, adding to a symbolic object, like a broken jug below, a naked breast, crumpled dress and disheveled hair. The erotic value of these paintings is particularly appalling when we consider them in the context of his other works, which are generally moralizing. I think the painter has invented his own unique genre of sentimental erotica that explains so much in Sade. The misfortunes of virtue do turn on!  The question of course remains, and people have every right to know, is Jean-Baptiste a closet libertine, or rather a libertine in spite of himself?


About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Libertines, XVIII Century Erotic Art. Bookmark the permalink.

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