Where Ethics and Aesthetics Meet: Titian's Rape of Europa

Hypatia 18 (4):159 - 188 (2003)
Abstract
Titian's Rape of Europa is highly praised for its luminous colors and sensual textures. But the painting has an overlooked dark side, namely that it eroticizes rape. I argue that this is an ethical defect that diminishes the painting aesthetically. This argument-that an artwork can be worse off qua work of art precisely because it is somehow ethically problematic-demonstrates that feminist concerns about art can play a legitimate role in art criticism and aesthetic appreciation
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