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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:12

Video transcript

we're in the nya panic attack in Munich and we're looking at a painter who lived in Munich and worked in Munich France when stuck and this is his painting the sin thunderstruck is probably best known as a symbolist artist this late 19th century movement that was interested in the interior self and a common theme among those painters was the femme fatale the dangerous woman and that's exactly what she took has painted here he's given us the embodiment the personification of sin at the same time as the figure of Eve well in a very literal way you have this nude female figure who is wrapped by this serpent that twines around her body and seems to be looking directly at us almost hissing as if it might strike at any moment in fact the very act of looking at her seems to endanger us look at the way that serpent looks at us from just above her breasts full phase and then the painter implies that the snake's body twirls around her neck its massive body rides down her left side and then twirls around at the bottom of her ballet it is in direct contact with her flesh it's almost lost in the darkness and if you think about more typical representations of Eve it's the serpent that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden it's the serpent that is the embodiment of evil and Eve who is weak and gives in to that temptation but here that's not the case she is evil he's made her a sensuous as possible so that we are as viewers interact I mean what's so interesting about this painting is that he is very conscious of the role of the viewer and he is engaging the viewer as somebody who's directly involved in the unfolding of the narrative remember this is the time of Freud this is the late 19th century the early 20th century and this is not an investigation of sin in the Christian sense but an investigation of sin and temptation as attributes of the human psyche look how the artist is framed this canvas we have this completely overwrought gold frame with these two large dark pillars with beautiful fluting and an inscription that has the title in it home very classicizing making sin itself as subject somehow eternal so here we have at the end of the 19th century with Christianity no longer a primary with social driver a moment ago you talked about Freud and Freud is so interesting at this historical moment because the church has lost its supremacy and science is now moving into the floor to deal with the same issues the religion had once dealt with here was seeing a painting where religion has been stripped out of it but we're still left with a moral problem of sin of corruption how do we now in the contemporary world deal with this you