In the name of seduction (women and seduction in visual art)

Filozofia 59 (7):491-501 (2004)

The paper is an example of interdisciplinary research. It combines aspects of mythology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, aesthetics and feminism to support the analysis of images of water associated with woman and seduction, mainly in visual art. The author’s question is as follows: What are the basic characteristics of woman, water and seduction that have enabled them, throughout the world’s history, to fuse into a complex that can be found in myths, fairy tales, philosophical treatises, psychoanalysis and especially in works of art? Is it a kind of Jungian archetypal image? To answer this question the author searches for a philosophical explanation of seduction in Jean Baudrillard’s On Seduction, and for an explanation of women’s identity in the works of Helene Cixous and Julie Kristeva. Further, an explanation of the development of the image of the mermaid is offered. The main emphasis is put on the interpretation of several works of art: What a Water Gave Me by Frida Kahlo, The Seduction and The Collective Invention by Rene Magritte, Queen of the Fish by Mimi Parent, and Bathing Nymphs by Paul Delvaux.
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