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Video transcript

Hera Zeus's wife was really jealous and with very good reason he was often fooling around he would take on disguises to help him get away with his escapades to hide from Harrah's jealous gaze one time he took the form of a swan another time of an eagle and in this painting by Qureshi Oh Leo and Jupiter he's not becoming something else so much as enveloping himself in a dark cloud even though it's bright daylight and here he is embracing the beautiful nymph yo and you could just make out his face in that fog and his hand embracing her it creates this wonderful sense of softness even though it's just light it's just paint we get this cottony billary cloud that surrounds him and envelops both of them courage' has obviously looked at Leonardo and thought about sfumato and those kinds of softening of edges but when combined with his background as a Venetian painter thinking about light thinking about color you get this tour de force this was commissioned by federico ii the Duke of Mantua a member of the very powerful and wealthy Gonzaga family for a room dedicated to the love of Jupiter so this is a subject that was quite famous because of the poetry of Ovid something that during the Renaissance was being revived Ovid was a classical writer an ancient Roman writer this painting along with its pendant which is hanging next to it of the abduction of Ganymede were both gifts to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles v and paintings showing Zeus or Jupiter flattered the power of rulers like the Duke of Mantua and the Holy Roman Emperor and actually it was the Holy Roman Emperor who had made that Gonzaga a Duke let's focus though on the painting of Jupiter and he oh we have a very vertical composition and yo seen from behind tilting her head back look at her left arm embracing the Mist bringing it toward her qureshi Oh has created it seems to take on substance his light is fabulous look at the dappled sunlight on her calf and the back of her heel and then on the front of her foot and along her back and her arms he's really capturing and the warmth look at the way that the sheet that's under and behind her pores around her body but that feels so much more clarified and visually sharp compared to her flesh which is even softer in contrast you would mentioned the way in which she was giving herself up to him she's going to push her body up towards him on the balls of her feet right that return of Jupiter's embrace so this is a painting that is over the top with its sensuality it really is she leans her head back she opens her mouth her right hand or fingers open up also as though she's taking him in her body almost melts downward you could feel the next moment her flesh is so soft and her skin is so poor Celyn like and lovely and I feel as though Korea has offset that with this roots and moss and trees and mud and the water below her so that her flesh seems even more perfect so as she's offset by the earthly Zeus or Jupiter he is offset by the brilliant sky above and so you have this clarity and the notion of the heavens as opposed to her earthly sphere as a nymph and you can see how cureo is going to be very important for later baroque artists the way that Yeoh gives herself up to a kind of ecstatic experience foreshadows what will see with Bernini for example in Saint Theresa and ecstasy so there is this willingness to completely embrace emotion as opposed to the more intellectual pursuits of the Renaissance