Satyr Play: An Examination of the "Sleeping Nymph and Leering Satyr" in Art History

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dc.contributor.advisor Griffey, Erin Tongia, Eden 2021-03-08T19:40:39Z 2021-03-08T19:40:39Z 2020 en
dc.description Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract The figures of the satyr and the nymph have been the focus of their independent studies by various scholars. This existing scholarship has explored their individual places within broader mythologies, literature and art, and typically briefly touches on how the two function together as an ensemble within these cultural spheres. However, while Lynn Frier Kaufmann and Jennifer Larson have endeavoured to articulate both of these figures independently, wider implications regarding the satyr and the nymph as a pairing - specifically within art - have not been thoroughly investigated. In this thesis, I have attempted to examine the origin, revival, and eventual spread of what I describe as the ‘sleeping nymph and leering satyr’ coupling. This pictorial type, in which a satyr is depicted voyeuristically spying on a sleeping nymph figure, seems to serves a specific function in the mind of the viewer - it is meant to suggest in the mind of its audience the theme of sexual assault. I believe that the circumstances surrounding the creation of this pictorial pairing means that connotations of sexual assault are heavily embedded into it, therefore imbuing all images that feature this pairing with the idea of sexual assault as we understand it today. This thesis will feature formal visual analysis of this iconographic type within the broader social context. Separate sections explore three different societies in which the ‘sleeping nymph and leering satyr’ coupling proliferated: ancient Greece, sixteenth-century Italy, and the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. Secondary historical resources will be analysed in order to contextualise the way in which each of these societies viewed rape and sexual assault. This enables an understanding of why this subject matter was deemed acceptable - and at times, desirable - in the art of each period. This merging of formal visual analysis and social history research indicates a more involved process in the dissection of iconographies, allowing for new insight into old subject matter.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
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dc.title Satyr Play: An Examination of the "Sleeping Nymph and Leering Satyr" in Art History
dc.type Thesis en Art History The University of Auckland en Masters en 2021-02-26T00:54:27Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: the author en
dc.identifier.wikidata Q112954078

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