Nov 30, 2008

The Sinister Side: Titian’s Diana and Actaeon

I found this very interesting the idea that the left side is some howevil or bad..

During the Renaissance, a woman’s left side was regarded as her most beautiful side. Not only was this the ‘heart’ side, and thus the side of feeling, but it was also less used (by right-handers) and so likely to be less worn or marked. In one of his love lyrics the poet Tasso called it “the soft side”, while the Venetian courtesan and poet Veronica Franco, in a verse letter to her favourite lover, says that her own beauty will be dedicated to making him happy, and she will make him taste the delights of love, “when he is close to her left side”. Titian gives us an extraordinary uninterrupted profile view of the whole of Diana’s left side and raised left arm, and there is no doubt that this is the best view: the goddess’ right leg, which is being rubbed down by one of the nymphs, is crude and ungainly in comparison to the elegantly turned left leg. It is also less brightly lit.

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