• Primoridial couples: (first couple)
representation of the “mother” and “father”
– Creation myths
– Marriage rituals
Adam and Eve
Various depictions over the centuries.
Focus on the “temptation” and
Knowledge or awareness of sex or
Masaccio, The Expulsion from
Paradise, Italy, 1427, Fresco.
Hugo van der Goes
c.1470 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)
Fall and Expulsion of Adam and Eve,
Michelangelo. Fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome
• Human couples in art-
exhibit range of
marriage traditions and
The Arnolfini Marriage
Jan van Eyck
32 x 23”, Oil paint on oak
• Visual METAPHOR-image or element that is
descriptive of something else.
• SYMBOL-image or element that stands for or
represents some other entity or concept.
• ICONOGRAPHY-system of symbols that allows
artists to refer to complex ideas.
Stations of the Cross
• Christian and spiritual as well as legal and
• Painting is legal document
• Jan van Eyck was here in 1434
• Witness to the marriage
• Represents all seeing eye of God
• Placed next to the beds of newlyweds to
Sunga Empire sculpture (India), 1st century BCE. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Relief carving from the Kandarya Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho, India, c. 1000
“The Hindu religion openly celebrates sexual love, as erotic
a virtue and a path that leads to redemption.”- Exploring Art
• Sculpture made for the purpose of enhancing
• Fertility Goddesses and Gods
• Ritualistic use
• Venus of Willendorf,
• C. 25,000-20,000 BCE
• Stone, 4 inches high
• Exaggerated body parts
ARTIST Jacopo da Pontormo
PAINTING The Visitation
Oil on Canvas
79 ½ x 61 3/8 in.
video sound installation, production still
The Pregnant Woman
oil on canvas
40 x 60 in.
"I thought the whole picture of woman
without pregnancy was . . . trivial," Neel
said. "It's treating woman as sex object.
But you know, sex results in something."
The Rokeby Venus (also known as The Toilet of Venus, Venus at her Mirror,
Venus and Cupid, or La Venus del espejo) by Diego Velázquez (1599–1660)
La Maja Desnuda by Francisco de Goya
In 1815 the Spanish Inquisition stripped Goya of his title
of court painter because this was considered obscene.
Stamps picturing this were approved in 1930 by the
Spanish Postal Authority. The same year the United
States government banned and returned any mail bearing
the stamp. In 1959 the U.S. Post Office banned its
mailing as a reproduction that was being used for
publicity of a movie of Goya's life.