This book is the first comprehensive study of images of rape in Italian painting at the dawn of the Renaissance. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, Péter Bokody examines depictions of sexual violence in religion, law, medicine, literature, politics, and history writing produced in kingdoms (Sicily and Naples) and city-republics (Florence, Siena, Lucca, Bologna and Padua). Whilst misogynistic endorsement characterized many of these visual discourses, some urban communities condemned rape in their propaganda against tyranny. Such representations of rape often link gender and aggression to war, abduction, sodomy, prostitution, pregnancy, and suicide. Bokody also traces how the new naturalism in painting, introduced by Giotto, increased verisimilitude, but also fostered imagery that coupled eroticism and violation. Exploring images and texts that have long been overlooked, Bokody's study provides new insights at the intersection of gender, policy, and visual culture, with evident relevance to our contemporary condition.
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