Glossary

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Erotic Art

Many stories based on the the pagan authors of Antiquity, and some taken from the Old Testament, involve illicit or adulterous love, and were popular subjects in paintings. The word erotic derives from the Greek eros, meaning physical love.

Paintings of Venus, Leda or Cephalus often have a deliberately erotic element; whereas in academic studies of nudes such concerns are incidental to the main purpose.

Venus and Mars
Sandro Botticelli
about 1485
Leda and the Swan
After Michelangelo
after 1530
Aurora abducting Cephalus
Peter Paul Rubens
about 1636-7
 
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