The polygamy of art

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  • 1. The Polygamy of Art
    Erin Kelly
    Kristie Clarke
  • 2. Polygamy can be seen in many works of art from a variety of different artists and styles of art. Using the concepts we have learned in this class about fitness and sex selection, we can understand the reasoning behind this type of artwork.
  • 3. “Fitness is the measure of the contribution of a genotype to the gene pool of the next generation”
    Because it takes time and energy for females to reproduce, they are limited in the number of offspring they can have. Males can reproduce any time they have sex and it doesn’t have the same time and energy requirements. Therefore it is more beneficial for males to mate with many females in order leave behind more offspring.
    Biological Bases for Polygamy
  • 4. In The Red Queen, Matt Ridley states “[the male peacock] loses nothing and gains much by mating with every female that comes along; she loses time and energy for a futile gain.”
    The Red Queen
  • 5. Polygamy has been seen in many different types of art, but it was been especially prevalent in paintings and sculptures.
    Polygamy was practiced by humans, even before Darwin’s theory of evolution. Whether this was a conscious effort on the part of males to leave behind more offspring or unconscious tendencies, artists have used this practice in many of their works.
    Polygamy in Artwork
  • 6. Abduction of the Daughters of Leucippus
    Artist: Peter Paul Rubens (1618)
    • Demi Gods Castor and Pollux, sons of Jupiter
    • 7. Abduction of Hillaeira and Phoebe
    • 8. Subjection of Women to Violence
    • 9. Spreading the Genes
  • Artist: Gianlorenzo Bernini
    Bernini's assistant’s wife and his lover is depicted in this bust
    Bust of CostanzaBonanelli
  • 10. Rape of the Sabine Women
    Artist: Nicolas Poussin
    Roman men acquired wives from the neighboring Sabine families.
    The women gave themselves to bring peace
  • 11. Apollo and Daphne
    Artist: Gianlorenzo Bernini
    Apollo is lusting after Daphne
    Daphne turns into tree to get away
  • 12. Danae
    Artist: Rembrandt
    The king was told if his wife Danae had a son that the son would eventually kill him.
    Danae is put in tower
    Jupiter comes and sleeps with her and she becomes pregnant with Percious
    The king dies
  • 13. The Swing
    Artist: Jean-Honore
    The Husband is pushing the swing
    The Lover is looking of the skirt
  • 14. Painted on: The Farnese Gallery Ceiling
    Polyphemus was trying to seduce the sea nymph Galate
    Polyphemus and Galatea
  • 15. The Nightmare
    Artist: Henry Fussli (1781)
  • 16. HBO’s Big Love Opening
    Polygamy is still seen in Modern Art
    This is the opening sequence to the series Big Love about a polygamous marriage