Cupid Chastised
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A review of Italian artist Bartolomeo Manfredi's oil painting "Cupid Chastised".

This paper examines how one of the most extraordinary aspects of the Italian artist Bartolomeo Manfredi's "Cupid Chastised" is the way that the 1605 painting of oil on canvas resembles not so much a rendition of Greek mythology to the gazer's immediate glance, but seems to represent more an ancient scourging similar to the stations of the cross. It discusses how war and discord are indeed set against one another in such a way that the common ways of telling myths about the goddess Venus are rearranged to improve the image of the woman and to highlight the ordinary quality of all of the gods and goddesses.

In Cupid Chastised" for example, Venus appears not like a beautiful goddess of love, but like an ordinary Italian woman caught in flagrente delicado with a man other than her husband. She half-kneels, one breast bared to the viewer, but in shadows, pleading for her lover's skin and life while her angry husband Mars, clothed in red, flagellates the prostrate Cupid, lying there, looking young and vulnerable. Despite the stated presence of the other gods, laughing at Mars in the write an essay lesson myth recounted as the painting's background, the focus of write an essay writing the painting is purely domestic and intimate, and the viewer of the work feels as if he or she is spying upon the married couple and Cupid, rather than witnessing a larger social drama."
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