Wednesday, May 04, 2005

bathhouse! = scandalous sexual behavior...

Originally uploaded by mwc134.

so many of you are asking yourselves... what does a degree in art history mean matt, what exactly do you do?

well... i just turned in two papers... the first one on this woodcut by Albrecht Durer. my argument? bathhouses of the late middle ages were (like in the 80s, minus the coke) - breading grounds for scandalous sexual behavior. and you can see this in this print. look closely... its there.

meanwhile (skip to message above this)


At 11:05 PM, Blogger Digger said...

Fioddlesticks! That is not an indication of scandalous behaviour but normal bathhouse behaviour still occuring today in the Durer's native Hungary. One is even issued with a "loincloth" that covers the front but not the back. And if you look closely in the woodprint you will recognise both Durer and his mate, Willibald Pirckheimer.
Hunter from Down Under

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently saw this woodcut in a book of reproductions and saw its homoerotic content immediately. Look at the sissy reclining attitude of the man leaning on the water pump with the spigot portrayed directly in front of his crotch. Is he ecstatic because of the music or is he staring at the cute lutist with the golden locks of hair?
Who are the musicians in loincloths playing and why are the two figures in the foreground looking so grimly at each other. They each are holding an object, one a flower and the other a handle with a whiplike appendage. S&M???
There is also a mysterious person male or female peering in from outside the bath. His or her fingers are clutching the column holding up the roof.The clothing is of the period, but I suspect he is male.
There is a lot to this woodcut and a medievalist or Renaissance scholar should answer some of these questions. Recently a Durer woodcut of a Women's Bathhouse was stolen. It would be worthwhile to compare.
Since the whole concept of the label homosexuality was challenged by people like Foucault and Gore Vidal as a modern concept, you are probably right that this is a bathhouse activity which will lead to sex in some dark corners of the establishment, something always available, but never talked about and not considered anything out of the ordinary.


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