Seen from Behind
Perspectives on the Male Body and Renaissance Art
Imprint: Yale University Press
Renaissance bodies, dressed and undressed, have not lacked attention in art historical literature, but scholarship on the male body has generally concentrated on phallic-oriented masculinity and been connected to issues of patriarchy and power. This original book examines the range of meaning that has been attached to the male backside in Renaissance art and culture, the transformation of the base connotation of the image to high art, and the question of homoerotic impulses or implications of admiring male figures from behind. Representations of the male body’s behind have often been associated with things obscene, carnivalesque, comical, or villainous. Presenting serious scholarship with a deft hand, Seen from Behind expands our understanding of the motif of the male buttocks in Renaissance art, revealing both continuities and changes in the ways the images convey meaning and have been given meaning.