The Honest Courtesan During The Italian Renaissance

2001 words, 9 pages

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The honest courtesan also inspired the new idea of ideal love by not only possessing unsurpassed beauty, but also possessing the talent to elevate her lover physically, spiritually and mentally.[3] Ideal love was then defined as the pursuit of higher forms of beauty, associated with the senses of sight and sound, meant to elevate the lover so he could experience the Divine.[4] In a letter sent to his mistress, Venetian writer and musician Girolamo Parabosco compares her beauty to the love interests of the god Jupiter:
My life’s sweetness, can you imagine how much suffering I endure through my envy for the luckiest of lucky papers, that soon will be worthy to touch those whitest of hands, to be admired by those charming eyes without which Love would be neither feared nor revered? I swear to you, I am so tormented by what might happen to this letter I write you, that I have written a thousand others this very hour and burnt them all…Alas, I remember all those tricks the gods used to employ to enjoy their object of love, and turn icy-cold for fear lest Jupiter changes himself into this sheet so as to touch those beautiful hands and those fair breasts which you used for a while as a dear and blessed lodging for other of my writings. Well might I fear this, for I am sure that neither Leda, Europa, nor Danae, for whom he changed himself into a swan, a bull or golden shower, could compare with you in beauty, grace or virtue.[5]

During the Renaissance scholars expressed the individualism of this era with more natural themes in sculpture, painting, literature, music and architecture that reflected the individual.[6] In the “Creation of Adam and Eve and The Expultion” by Ghiberti, there is more of a celebrative theme for the beauty of the human body, where in previous works the body seems unlovely and pitiful.[7] Courtesans were a significant presence in art as they were friends and mistresses of a variety of artists, poets and intellects.[8] Because View More »

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