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9.9.08

Venus púdica


Venus púdica, originally uploaded by Ramiro Sánchez-Crespo.

La Venus Púdica es uno de los motivos artísticos más típicos de la Antigüedad Clásica. Se representa a la diosa en el preciso instante de cubrirse los senos y el pubis, en actitud de recato, como si la hubieramos sorprendido en el momento del baño o de vestirse. La gracia de esta actitud es que por un lado permite juegos de formas asimétricas, con cuerpos en torsión y posturas complejas de ejecutar por parte del escultor, y por otro lado, el hecho de tapar despierta precisamente la curiosidad hacia lo tapado ... {naturaleza humana}.

Este tipo de representación de la mujer se adaptaría bien a la posterior revolución Cristiana, poco amante de exibiciones de la anatomía humana.

Buscando por Internet el origen etimológico de la palabra "púdica" me he topado con este articulillo, que he encontrado curioso (está en inglés, pero se entiene bien):

In Roman mythology, Pudicitia ("modesty" or “sexual virtue”) was the personification of modesty and chastity. Her Greek equivalent was Aidôs.

Romans, both men and women, were expected to uphold the virtue of pudicitia, a complex ideal that was explored by many ancient writers, including Livy, Valerius Maximus, Cicero and Tacitus. Livy describes the legendary figure of Lucretia as the epitome of pudicitia. She is loyal to her husband and is modest, despite her incredible beauty. The story of Lucretia shows that the more virtuous a woman was, the more appealing she was to potential adulterers. Pudicitia was not only a mental attribute but also physical; a person’s appearance was seen as an indicator of their morality. The way a man or woman presented him or herself in public, and the persons they interacted with caused others to pass judgment on their pudicitia. For example, if a woman was seen associating with men other than her husband people would make a negative judgment on her pudicitia. It was important that a woman be univira, or a “once-married woman.” Modest self-presentation indicated pudicitia. The opposite of pudicitia was impudicitia or “sexual vice.” Stuprum was the loss of one’s pudicitia, even if it was unwilling. Romans associated the loss of pudicitia with chaos and loss of control, so they wanted their religious and political officials to uphold pudicitia. In Cicero’s oration against Verres, he discusses many of the governor’s transgressions including sexual misconduct with both men and women. This is one of the many reasons Cicero argues Verres is a bad governor. In the Imperial age, Augustus attempted to enact a program of moral reform to encourage pudicitia in Roman citizens.

References:

  • Langlands, Rebecca. Sexual Morality in Ancient Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.



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