Continuation of chapter 5…
The National Gallery has presented us a variety of paintings in which oil painting is one of the focusing points in most rooms. In one of the rooms that painting of Venus with Mercury and Cupid (“The school of love”) by Corregio has the power to struck one to think, what is the message behind the classical characters?
One may assume to believe that the meaning is just connected towards classical mythology and has nothing to do with everyday life. This portrait shows softness and delicacy, traits that paintings usually did not have in this period of time. The painting shows Mercury more connected to cupid and Venus is portrayed with a little more distance from her child, making her have a lesser connection with the child. Out of the three, Venus is the only one looking directly at the audience, which makes the viewer see her in a state of vulnerability. Mercury and Cupid are portrayed as two persons doing their own thing and not being aware of the audience and even of Venus. Both Mercury and Cupid by looking and paying attention at each other make their connection more powerful and stronger leaving the audience wondering what is it that they are doing or saying. Although Venus is slightly touching Cupid’s body, her connection is not strong because Cupid is not returning that touch. In contrast to this form of affection, Mercury’s touch is returned not just by Cupid’s attention, but also by his acceptance of the touch.
“An allegory of Prudence” by Titan is a work of art that displays three human faces and three animal faces. The three human faces are shown in three different stages of the human existing. The first one is in youth, the second in adulthood, and the third in the old stage of life. Beneath each of these faces there is an animal face. The dog represents youth the lion represents adulthood, and the last animal that is a wolf represent the old age. All of these three together represent prudence. The painting does more than just represent the main stages of men all together, it gives the human an animal image that connects him with nature and life in general. The name of the painting “An Allegory of Prudence” says a lot about the painting too. Both the humans and the animals are being an allegory to each other because they both use some type of reasoning to govern and discipline themselves.