IMG_1205D Dirk de Quade van Ravesteyn actif à Prague 1589-1608 Vénus endormie; Venus asleep Dijon Musée des Beaux Arts.(PID:48730514548) Source
posted by jean louis mazieres alias jean louis mazieres on Saturday 14th of September 2019 09:46:11 AM
Dirk de Quade van Ravesteyn actif à Prague 1589-1608 Vénus endormie; Venus asleep Dijon Musée des Beaux Arts. La réintroduction du nu dans la peinture européenne au 16è siècle est un retour à certaines valeurs de l'Antiquité gréco-romaine, païenne. Des valeurs qui appartiennent au très ancien fond indo-européen. C'est clairement une rupture avec les conceptions chrétiennes très inspirées par une culture tout à fait étrangère à l'Europe: la culture sémitique judaïque très hostile au nu et à l'érotisme, qui avait triomphé de celle gréco-romaine d'inspiration vers plus 500. The reintroduction of the nude into European painting in the 16th century is a return to certain values of Greek-Roman and pagan antiquity. Values that belong to the very old Indo-European fund. It is clearly a break with Christian conceptions very inspired by a culture completely foreign to Europe: the Semitic Jewish culture, very hostile to the nude and eroticism, which had triumphed over the Greco-Roman culture of inspiration towards 500 ac. THE WOMAN IN THE PAINTING OF THE CATHOLIC AND HUMANIST EUROPE Art in general, and painting in particular, bear witness to the importance accorded to women in European civilization. But the image of women has evolved according to the ideological context, the beliefs in force at this or that time in European history. By starting the European art history around 500, ie with Christianity, the subject of women in the painting of Europe will be evoked through five dossiers : 1 ° The woman in the painting of Catholic Europe. From 500 to 1500 approximately. However easel painting began only around 1300. Previously painting is manifested through the frescoes, mosaics, stained glass and in books: the illuminations. 2 ° The woman in the painting of Catholic and Humanist Europe. From 1500 to 1800 approximately 3 ° The woman in the painting of the Protestant Netherlands in the 17th century 4 ° The woman in the painting of the ideologically plural Europe of the 19th century. 1800-1950 approximately 5 ° The woman in the Official Contemporary Art. 1950 ... The image of woman in European painting diversified a lot in the Renaissance, in certain social circles. To understand this evolution one must first make a little some true history. This is why we have to leave the woman, during a few paragraphs (A), in order to explain the title, quite unusual in historiography, given at this period in the history of Europe: Catholic and Humanist Europe. Then it will be possible to study the image of the woman (B). A woman, who in this file of 74 paintings, will be less represented by the Virgin Mary and the Saints (18 paintings) but more by Venus, Diana or Bathsheba. But it is certain that this choice does not reflect, in number, the production of the artists of these three centuries, a production which is thematically very balanced between Catholicism and Humanism. The Church remains indeed throughout the period a decisive sponsor for the art of European painting. From the point of view of style, he is the same throughout these three centuries: "the full painting", in three dimensions, as well as she's finished developing herself towards 1500 following a persevering collaboration between the Italian South and the Flemish and Germanic North of Europe A/ From the years 1500s onward, it is the "Renaisssance", for the official western historiography, the history taught and divulged widely, since the 19th century In reality, Europe does not know in the 16th century, in relation to the immediately preceding centuries, any Renaissance: neither economic, nor political, nor artistic, nor scientific, nor technical, nor spiritual, nor intellectual, nor moral of course. These rebirths are much earlier, they are done, gradually but continuously, after the year 1000, to adopt a memorable date. On the other hand, at the "Renaissance" the European aristocratic elite, including the high clergy, Popes in the lead, undertakes a new approach to the thought of Greco-Roman antiquity, discovery which is enriched by the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, and the consecutive exile of great Byzantine intellectuals with their ancient documents. "The Renaissance" is a return to the past of Greek and Roman Europe, and a rehabilitation of certain values peculiar to ancient paganism. Certainly ancient thought was partly known by the the Scolasticism of the Middle Ages, but it is undeniable that in the intellectual, aristocratic and very great bourgeois circles of Western Europe, the interpretation imposed by Catholic Christianity in the reading of ancient texts ceases to be binding at the end of the 15th century. It is this ideological turn that modern and contemporary historiography, "formatted" by the "Enlightenment", calls a "Renaissance". As if the Europe of that time had come out of the deep shadows of previous centuries. Man does not like facts that do not conform to his world view. When the facts are contrary to his beliefs, he ignores them. Elites can even invent facts that have never existed, but have the advantage of concordant with the beliefs they want to impose on peoples : These are "the ideological facts". These facts are not facts, they do not exist, they are totally imagined to serve a cause. "The Renaissance" is largely an "ideological fact". A major ideological fact, entirely built on a few real facts and others not real at all. However, it is true that Rebirth also has existed as a real fact. But not a renaissance of Europe, a renaissance of antiquity. It is Humanism that appears. A conception of the world, an ideology, quite simple, somewhat egocentric: The belief in human begins to appear under the belief in God. It is in Greco-Roman antiquity that the elites of the 16th century will seek the premises of the ideology of the primacy of man. It is true that ancient art is to the glory of the human being: All Gods are in his image. And even Zeus comes to seek among the mortals some of his many mistresses. In painting the "growth" of the human throughout the Catholic period and at the beginning of the Catholic-Humanist period is very obvious: The donor couples of the early Gothic are very small characters at the bottom of the painting. Gradually over the decades ... they grow, and gradually they settle on the side flaps, then in the middle of the central part. They even push God and his cohort of saints off the picture. But where are we going? Until there is only the donors. For the ideologues and historians of the "Enlightenment", who analyze the phenomenon of rebirth two or three centuries later, through their own rationalist, atheistic, materialistic and progressive ideology, it is "The Renaissance". For it is the beginning of a new revelation, the premises of a New New Testament. The "Reason Goddess" will prevail over Catholic religious Obscurantism (Jews and Protestants are apparently more enlightened). Victory is certain because Progress is irresistible (Condorcet). The humanism of the Renaissance, which was a form of respect for the man different from the Catholic version, but not incompatible with it, has become, over the centuries, "The Hommisme", in other words the cult of human. The recognition of human dignity within a complex universe that must be respected, has become the adoration of human aspiring to the total mastery of the universe. The divinity is now distant, accessory, absent even, and man can thus settle in the center of the world. And soon the man will be God. This is the current ideological project of the West for the world, the Globalist project. The present of the West is only one step on the path of universal society, governing the Whole Earth, a society enlightened by the new man, the god-man. These ideological, profane, secular, supposedly rationalist delusions, in reality Gnostics and Kabbalistic, belong to the same kind of thinking as certain religious fanaticism. They have nothing to do with the conceptions of the world of Greco-Roman antiquity. In the visions of the world of Greco-Roman antiquity human was not the center of the Universe. The man had to respect the Universal Harmony, not to disturb the Order of the World by his pretensions and his untimely actions. The major fault for the ancient man, Greek or Roman, was the Hubris: the Pride, the demeasurement, which leads the man to believe himself the equal of the Gods. The Man-God, is simply Luciferian. In Christian symbolism it is the Angel who wants to take the place of God. A vision of the world that has seduced many humans for millennia, under multiple forms allegedly esoteric and magical. The God-Man, Master of the universe, is absolutely not a characteristic concept of Greco-Roman antiquity, despite some misunderstood appearances. Except for the pathological case of Alexander, a pathology denounced in his own time. The divinization of the Ptolemaic or Roman emperors was only a political process, which no elite of these times took seriously beyond its social and civic utility. For the new ideology of the "Enlightenment", apparently rationalist but in fact Kabbalistic, after the Renaissance came the essential stage of the Reformation, then the determining one of the French Revolution, then that of "proletarian Internationalism", finally that of the newest winner: the Capitalistic globalism. The Globalism, the last avatar of the thought of the "lights", claims to illuminate the whole planet. Christians, Muslims, Hinduists, Buddhists, Confucianists, Shintoists, Animists, Atheists, Agnostics, Pagans. All will have to submit to the "Light", the only one, the true one. All will have to submit to "Reason", the only one, the true one. The ideological and political elite of Europe and the West no longer belong to humanist thought, they practices the "Hommisme", the adoration of man. The adoration of the human "Master of the World" has replaced his perception, wise and measured, as a simple element of a universe that surpasses it infinitely. The Science being one of the great references of the contemporary era it is necessary to specify that the God-Man is not a scientific concept either. Or only of a science betrayed, enslaved, used by the political and ideological elites to justify their religion of the Human. At the time of the "Renaissance" the history of ideas has not yet arrived at this stage. Indeed, a remarkable feature of this "Renaissance" is that it does not concern the lives of peoples. It is a strictly elitist ideological phenomenon. Catholicism remains the generally uncontested belief in the population. And likewise among the elites, Catholicism is absolutely not invalidated. The Church is also at the head of this movement. The ideological and political elites of Europe only grant themselves an opening on other ideological horizons, other visions of the world, other morals, in parallel with the catholic beliefs but not in replacement of them. In the painting, and especially that of the woman the implications are going to be very important. But only in a certain art, an art reserved, confidential, intended for the aristocratic elite and very large bourgeois. Nothing changes in painting and sculpture destined for the populations and the middle classes. Mary and the Saints continue to dominate absolutely. But even in the painting for the aristocracy the art influenced by Humanism is added only to the painting inspired by the Church. A two-speed art thus appears in the aristocratic and plutocratic milieus, where the two visions of the world rub shoulders, without any confrontation. That is why the period of European history that will follow, until around 1800, can be called "Catholic and Humanist Europe". The agreement is not perfect between the two ideologies, but it is balanced, it will last three centuries in a large part of the Mediterranean, Celtic, Germanic and Slavic Europe of the west. This appellation cannot obviously apply to the Slavic Orthodox Europe, nor of course to Europe colonised by the Ottomans, whose paths are diferent. It is also necessary to exclude the part of Europe which was "reformed", protestant, in the north essentially, Europe which had remained outside the limits of the Roman Empire. But in reality the reform is, for the most part, triple at that time: Anglican, Lutheran and Calvinist. These reforms are not exactly the same in their cultural consequences, and it is the Calvinist reform in the Low Countries of the north which, for various reasons, political and religious, constitutes the most obvious break with Catholicism, but also has with Humanism. The northern Netherlands will set up a completely original and new paint in which the image of the woman will change dramatically. On the other hand, in North Germany, Christian Lutheran, the aristocracy has retained a political power distinct from the upper middle class. The aristocracy has also preserved memories and institutions of the times of the Holy Germanic Empire turned towards Rome and Italy. This reformed Germany remains culturally much more connected to Catholic Europe and especially Humanist than the Netherlands. Her art and in particular the image of the woman is not different from that which can be seen in France or Italy. England has been an island for a long time, and English painting is also somewhat different from that of the Continent. England is no longer Catholic since 1534, she is Anglican. A schism whose motives are entirely political. After much hesitation and going back and forth, finally, Anglicanism is not quite Puritanism. The Mayflower pilgrims have noticed this. In addition, the memories of antiquity are very far away and English painting has never cultivated much Greek mythology. But the themes of English painting are much more aristocratic than those of Dutch painting. The image of the woman is closer to that existing on the continent outside the Netherlands. However, the female nude is almost completely absent from English painting. B/ Thematically the image of women in European painting has evolved over the centuries. 1° Throughout the Gothic period the woman is triply symbolic. - Symbol of the fall of man (Eve) Then symbol of his redemption (Mary). First dialectical symbolic, subtly evocative of the relations between man and woman. - Symbol of sacred, mystical love, with the Virgin Mary and the saints. Symbol also of the love of the child and the family. - More global symbol of the love of beings and their protection, especially the poor and the weak against the rich and the violent. This symbol is evoked by the iconography of Virgins of Protection or Mercy. 2° In the 16th century, the image of the woman is also inspired, parallel to this first symbolic Catholic and Orthodox, which does not disappear, representations of Greek Antiquity. An ancient Civilization for which the woman is doubly symbolic of Love and Beauty. - The woman is symbolic of a form of Sacred Love. Sacred Love which through the goddess of Love, and also other major or minor Goddesses, is the reminder of the creative, centripetal link which is at the source of the primordial Life; and who perpetuates it in all beings since the origin of the worlds. The woman is then the symbol of Eros, which in Greek cosmogony, as evoked by Hesiod in his Theogony, is one of the primordial forces, binding, aggregating, which presided over the formation of the world. This Eros should not be confused with Eros (Cupid) the companion of Aphrodite (Venus). It is a Primordial Force that is at the origin of the World, an intuitive evocation, in mythical form, of the universal attraction of Isaac Newton. - The beautiful woman, naked or dressed, is also for the Greeks the reflection and the symbol of the Beauty of the Universe. As also the male beauty, equally celebrated. The human being must be beautiful because he must be in the image of the Harmony of the World and that the Beautiful is an invitation to the Good and the True and thus an essential element of the Order of the World The image of the woman, who was totally monopolized by Mary and the Holy Women in the period of Catholic Europe, Has diversified greatly in 1500. Two new iconographic sources appear: - The Greco-Roman antiquity, from the historical angle or from the mythological angle - The Old Testament, of which some texts, not very many, are conducive to painting the woman. These two sources all go in the same direction: they allow to introduce in European painting many possibilities to represent the female nude. For the ancient source nothing surprising, the Greek and Roman Antiquity has constantly celebrated both female and male nudity. For the Semitic source, on the contrary, it is very surprising. The entire Semitic culture is very hostile to the nude and moreover aniconic: totally unfavorable to the images. The use of the Old Testament to celebrate the female nude is clearly the hallmark of a non-Semitic, Indo-European interpretation of the Old Testament. At the Renaissance, so there is a big change: Eve is nolonger the only one to be naked. Catholicism, unlike Hinduism, is not favorable to the representation of the nude, feminine or masculine. And we will see by studying the painting of the Netherlands that Protestantism is even more unfavorable to the nude. With Humanism, all the goddesses of Greece and of ancient Rome, the Olympian ones, or those more minor, will be reborn. The Renaissance is, in painting, an explosion of Goddesses, Nymphs, Bacchantes, Maenads and beautiful mortals mistresses of Zeus. All these women are little dressed, and often not at all. The Old Testament is less rich: Bathsheba, Suzanne, Judith, the daughters of Lot, Dalila ..... The list is not long, but it will serve a lot, until the 20th century. The people, on the other hand, must remain chaste, so it is not concerned by this new painting and this new image of women, which is reserved for the secular and religious aristocracy. The princes of the Church are most often the juniors of the Princes in political and military power. Not exclusively, however, because the Church has been a very effective social lift. Private salons of bishops and cardinals do not exhibit the same paint as churches and public halls. In short, to make it simple: Humanism it is for the European aristocracy, not for the peoples. Catholicism it is for the European peoples, and also for the aristocracy. However, the Old Testament will penetrate much more than in the previous period, all religious painting for popular use. In the Catholic Europe of medieval times rare are the scenes taken from the Old Testament. This is not the case after 1500. Obviously new influences have been exercised, which are not only humanist. But in art inspired by the Old Testament, for the people, the woman is dressed (Esther for example). The girls of Lot, Bathsheba, Suzanne, Judith ... are representations reserved for aristocrats. Mary and the Holy Women remain quite present at all levels of society, in the churches, in the popular houses, in the bourgeois salons, in the palaces of the aristocracy and kings. Indeed the European elite, humanist, remains profoundly Catholic for a few centuries yet. Ultimately in the Renaissance, the big change in the representation of the woman is that she puts herself naked. This event should not be underestimated. This is another reason, for many men, to see an immense progress there. After a thousand years during which it was only possible to see a naked woman, Eve, and from time to time, the breast of a nursing mother. Sometimes also some damned, because in Catholic iconography before the Renaissance the elect are dressed, but the damned can be naked. Nudity being a sign of diabolical lust. The reintroduction of the nude into European painting in the 16th century is a return to certain values of Greek-Roman and pagan antiquity. Values that belong to the very old Indo-European fund. It is clearly a break with Christian conceptions very inspired by a culture completely foreign to Europe: the Semitic Jewish culture, very hostile to the nude and eroticism, which had triumphed over the Greco-Roman culture of inspiration towards 500 ac. Change is important, but in painting only, because in everyday life, European humanity has not deprived itself of anything at all, and certainly not lust, during these thousand years, at all levels of society. Despite Catholicism, Mary, the Saints, Saint Michael and the Holy Spirit, the "Devil" has never been very far from men. The renaissance is therefore also a real fact, at least in painting and sculpture, because it is not only a renaissance of antiquity, it is also a renaissance of the female nude and the male nude. A rebirth of lust? Certainly not, everything just continues as before. Catholic and humanist Europe will last three centuries, and the image of the woman that his painting will spread takes on a tremendous scale, carnal, with Pierre Paul Rubens whose art represents the summit of the collaboration between Catholicism and the Humanism. There is not with Rubens the distant reserve of Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael. The wife of Rubens is absolutely queen, glorious, fulfilled, including in his flesh. Except Mary, of course, but not puritanical. The virgins of Rubens are reserved as they should, But they are women, women to whom peoples can identify themselves . This art to the glory of the woman is highly political, it has been painted to counter the sad flesh of Protestant art and regain ground, especially throughout Eastern Europe and southern Germany. A battle won otherwise than by arms. Through the art. This is the whole explanation of the golds, stuccoes, frescoes and of the superlative paintings of Baroque: The Baroque is a Counter-Reformation, the affirmation of a Humanist Catholicism that was expressed artistically and used the woman in his fight against Protestantism. The Church of that time did not lack a certain audacity, and did not cultivate sad repentance. Art, painting, women have gained a lot in this policy. In the catholic-humanist Europe, reconquered on the Reformation, during two more centuries, the woman will be constantly present in one form or another, always beautiful, always representative of her sex, always a little, or much naked, sometimes sacred sometimes profane, sometimes Catholic, sometimes Greek or Roman. At the end of the period, however, the art of Baroque-Rococo, in the 18th century, gives of the woman a very profane image, a woman of lighter manners with painters like François Boucher, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Nicolas Lancret, Jean Honore Fragonard, Jean Baptiste Pater. This art of the "carpe diem" will spread in almost all the aristocratic Europe of the time. This theme of women is relatively new because it moves away from the Catholic religion, it is obvious. But it is also moving away from the humanist vision. It is a painting in which the feminine nude is cultivated for itself, without passing through the pretext of ancient or biblical references. This lightweight art is also the antithesis of the image of the Protestant woman of the Netherlands, which we will see in the next chapter. It is necessary to say a word of the technique, even if the technique is not specific to the representation of the woman but obviously concerns all the themes of the paint. The technique is essential, because it will make the woman more pulpy, more vaporous, but more realistic, less symbolic, than in times of strictly Catholic Europe. The linear woman of the First Gothic, like that of the International Gothic, looks a little like the models of contemporary fashion shows. Infinitely better than skeletons, but she may lack some tasty curves. Gothic spirituality is a little detrimental to the materiality of the image of women. The Gothic woman has angles. The woman of the humanist Renaissance, becomes more tangible, takes forms much more enveloping, more tactile, more realistic, more seductive. However, the Renaissance is not, as far as the pictorial technique is concerned, a revolution. It is more a point of arrival than a point of departure. The rebirth is certainly the starting point, towards more than three centuries, of a painting perfectly imitating Nature. A paint perfectly imitating the woman. But the Renaissance is also the culmination of a long path undertaken since the middle of the Gothic to paint in three dimensions, and not only in two dimensions as in the Byzantine times, in the Romanesque period and early Gothic. From the 13th century to the 16th century European painting technically went from "flat painting" in two dimensions to "full painting" in three dimensions. From an approximate, sketched and symbolic representation of the world to an exact, faithful representation of nature. Exact representation that does not exclude the symbolic interpretation. But a woman in three dimensions, from a certain point of view, is better than a woman in two dimensions. Italy have finalizing around 1490-1510 two decisive techniques for the representation of space in three dimensions on a flat surface: - The mathematical perspective, more exact, but not more aesthetically credible, than that intuitive of Gothic, or the atmospheric perspective of Flemish painters (Patinir, Bruhegel Jan, Momper ...) - The Sfumato, "the Maniera Moderna", which merges the objects and the figures, in their spatial environment. Space then gently envelops beings and things, in a more credible way, than in the first Gothic painting, and even that of a certain terminal Gothic, called "International Gothic", with linear tendencies and acute contours. But the Cologne school with Stephan Lochner and especially the Flemish school with Jan Van Eyck, had shown since the 1440s that painters from the North of Europe had invented a perspective that, although imperfectly mathematically, was everything actually aesthetically credible. They had also been able to represent perfectly in their environment, in an insensitive, melted way, the Virgins and Children who were the theme of their painting. These Flemish "Primitives" knew perfectly well how to create a progressive, gentle atmosphere, in line with our vision of the world. The art of Jan Van Eyck, Stephan Lochner, and Hans Memling still 40 and 20 years before 1500, is less linearly Gothic than that of Botticcelli, for example in "The Birth of Venus" (1480). So the Renaissance is not only Italian, the so-called "Primitives" Flemings have participated a lot, even if it is within the framework of an exclusively Catholic thematique, which is not considered, by the historiography dependent on "Enlightenment", like progressist. The Mona Lisa is certainly a brilliant perfection of the Sfumato, and of the "maniera moderna", the art of melting the beings and the things in the atmosphere, but, at the same era, Giorgione, often finished by Titian because of the premature death of Giorgione, realizes very similar works, in regards to technique. The Mona Lisa is more significant, exemplary even, as an archetype of the new spirit, of the new symbolism of the woman, and even of the symbolism of the human in general. The Mona Lisa is in the painting a model completed, exemplary, of the humanist spirit. The Mona Lisa is not Mary, this is important at the ideological level, for some it is even a decisive progress, but it is not Venus either. The Mona Lisa is not Catholic, without being anti-Catholic, and without being Antique. She is a new archetype, and especially universal The Mona Lisa is the expression of the timeless, universal humanism of Leonardo da Vinci. All of Leonardo da Vinci's work is absolutely exemplary in its themes of the intelligent balance between Catholicism and Humanism, which was established during the Renaissance. This is his greatness which is not only technical. Technically the work of Vinci is a magnificent achievement, which like other works of the same period, will serve this model, for about 350 years, to European painting. But conceptually, metaphysically, the Mona Lisa is still, in our time, even for other civilizations, a living reference, shared at the elite level and instinctively at the popular level. Try to photograph it in the Louvre, if you are not a professional! The crowd of the public is proof that the Mona Lisa is the illustration of a true universalism, cultivated and rooted in the wisdom of particular and different peoples. The Mona Lisa is intelligently and spiritually universal, she is at the antipodes of a globalism, universally accultured, whose manufactured speech, and the "conceptualist" pretentions masks the poverty of spirit of its projects for the world. She is the opposite of the so-called culture of a globalism of uprooted and robotic mens. Consequence for the woman of this technical evolution of the European painting, multisecular evolution that culminates to the rebirth? With the return to the Antique and the end of the ban thrown on the nude, the woman wraps herself even better in her nakedness. She is softer, but apparently only. Judith savagely slays the poor Holofernes, as Artemisia Gentileschi and Caravaggio show. Caravaggio's painting belongs for many of his works to Catholic iconography. The Church is always a key sponsor if an artist wants to succeed. But the art of Caravaggio is also often inspired by a more aggressive, subtly anti-Catholic humanism. Angelo Merisi was not an Angel, or rather a fallen angel, as in his "Victorious Love". Similarly, in a completely different style, Paolo Veronese, whose religious paintings are often a shining display of consumerist and futile materialism. Unlike Tintoretto. The Church was not mistaken, who frowned at some of Veronese's paintings. Yet the Church at Venice, well kept in hand by a very merchant-minded aristocracy of mind, was broad-minded. So there are tensions between the two ideologies, tensions that will grow over the centuries. The art of the Baroque-Rococo, of the 18th century French, which then spread throughout Europe is a very obvious expression of the appearance of new trends. It is the woman of Jean Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, Jean Honoré Fragonard. Because a more systematic, more simplistic, more materialistic ideology than Humanism is settling, surreptitious at first, then more and more effectively to reign undivided on the West. Humanism is the expression of a thought which, in order not to be of a religious spirit according to the definition of religion which imposes itself with the Christian monotheism, was, however, of spiritualistic and highly philosophical tendencies. Hence the agreement preserved with Catholicism. At the 18th century arises a materialistic thought, intellectually limited, whose French Rococo art is a first testimony. And the image of the woman changes accordingly. The public may prefer Mary to Judith, if he wants to forge himself an exemplary image of the woman. But he may prefer also Aphrodite-Venus or Mary Magdalene, not too repentant yet. In the Renaissance and long after it, the aristocrat and the big bourgeois now have the choice between several images of the woman. And most often they cultivate the two, or three, or four images of the woman simultaneously or successively. Sometimes a Virgin Mary adoring the Child, sometimes a triumphant Venus, sometimes an ambiguous Diana, sometimes a repentant Mary Magdalene, sometimes a San Sebastian, androgynous equally ambiguous. This globally bipolar balance situation of the image of women in the art of painting will continue, throughout Catholic and Humanist Europe, until the French Revolution. Always in an simplified dating, but memorable and synthetically exact. But there is a "reserve", an exception, which is the Protestant Netherlands in the 17th century. Until the middle of the 19th century the European woman will paint herself, outside the Netherlands, according to the double dialectical criterion of Catholicism and Humanism, and in the style of "the full painting" to which painters from all over Europe had succeeded around 1510-1520. In the northern Netherlands, Protestants, Reformed Calvinists will change the image of the woman. They will not change the image of the woman technically, because the technique of "full painting", perfectly imitating the surrounding world, is acquired for more than three centuries, until about 1850. But the Protestant painters -calvinists of the Netherlands will change the image of the woman thematically. As much as the rebirth had done, but in other directions. (To be continued!)
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