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Images of Rape: The 'Heroic' Tradition and its Alternatives Paperback – October 23, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If I were asked to select the most important book on early modern European art history in 1999, I would choose Diane Wolfthal's Images of Rape: The "Heroic" Tradition and Its Alternatives." Yael Evans, Sixteenth Century Journal

"By examining why art historians have assigned erotic and sanitized images of rape to the canon in place of less salacious traditions, Wolfthal's book raises fundemental questions about art historical practice." National Financial Post

"This should be required reading for anyone interested in understanding the visual cultures of Western traditions...Wolfthal is to be congratulated and thanked for bringing this material together." CAA Reviews

"By examining why art historians have assigned erotic and sanitized images of rape to the canon in place of less salacious traditions, Wolfthal's book raises fundamental questions about art historical practice." National Financial Post

"paint[s] a fascinating and complex picture of the conflicted sexual premises, ideals, and solutions that lie behind and around such images....should form a fundmental starting point for any future resesarch on Renaissance sexual imagery." Renaissance Quarterly

Book Description

Images of Rape: The "Heroic" Tradition and its Alternatives is the first in-depth exploration of rape as it has been portrayed in Western art from the twelfth through seventeenth centuries. Examining the full range of representations, from those that glorify rape to those that condemn it, Diane Wolfthal illuminates the complex web of attitudes towards sexual violence that existed in the medieval and early modern society. She makes her case using a range of visual documentation, including picture bibles, law treatises, justice paintings, war prints, and the manuscripts of Christine de Pizan.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 23, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521794420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521794428
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,635,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joost Daalder on December 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Wolfthal examines depictions of rape during the medieval and Renaissance periods, and reveals tellingly and thoughtfully how complex and varied the attitudes towards rape were from around 1100-1700. In contrast to the more simplistic views with which we are often presented, her essay points out that rape was by no means always glorified, but frequently viewed with the disapproval which it deserves; and she makes her case compellingly and fascinatingly, using a wide range of illustrations from several countries and all sorts of spheres. This is a learned book, but, though thought-provoking and demanding, never heavy or ponderous. It is sure to become a classic on its subject, and should be read by all who are interested in rape and attitudes to it. I have found it one of the best scholarly books I have read during an academic career that spans more than four decades.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By art junky on November 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Wolfthal's well-presented study with cause you look twice at Renaissance depictions of rape as an heroic artistic subject and inspire you wonder what happened to cause women's rights to decline during 14th century.
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