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Current time:0:00Total duration:4:27

Video transcript

[Music] we're in the Louvre and we're looking at a lady jock lovey-dovey the intervention of the save on women it was meant as a pendant to Poussin's earlier very famous rape of the same iron also in the moon it takes as its narrative this story of the founding of ancient Rome we're actually located very specifically in Rome in the forum and we can see rising above the capital of Rome itself the story very quickly is that the Romans who had no women attacked thus a vine a neighboring tribe and ran off with their women years later thus a vine attacked Rome to get the women back and here we have her Celia who is now the wife of the Roman leader Romulus the king of the Romans and also daughter of the king of the sabien and she's watching her husband and her father about to kill each other she steps in the middle with her children his grandchildren his sons and says stop think about this in historical context this is just a few years after the outrageous violence of the reign of terror at the end of the French Revolution this is a moment and a painting about reconciliation Davies conceived the idea while he was in prison and he was in prison because of his participation in the reign of terror the most radical period of the revolution the fact that he had been a follower of Robespierre who had just been beheaded and so this idea of reconciling the French state looking for a political peaceful solution the fact that women play such as pivotal role here is so different from David's earlier work where men are really the actors men are making the sacrifices for the state women are all generally very passive very emotional very concerned about their own selfish needs and here those needs become the pivot to turning the state around if we did turn around we would be looking at the oath of her Asia eye which hangs directly opposite this painting Duffy's early masterpiece that does completely make women ineffectual and places them in the position they're associated with emotion which is subordinate to the needs of the state here the needs of the state are served by that emotion and her Celia dressed in white symbolizes security and righteous was it very powerful she strides forward she spreads her arms another female figure opens her arms and looks over toward the king of the SE vines and holds her arms open saying look at the children think about the children so interesting is if you look at the two male protagonists they are focused only on so much so that they actually don't see the world around them and it's the women that you have a sense where you have the fuller picture so while Romulus and catchiest the king of the SE vines focus exclusively on each other another soldier on horseback to the right understands what's about to happen here and puts his sword away that's right another nude turns his horse around and walks away from the field of battle although this may look generally classical to us dahveed was looking for something specifically Greek so by Greek I think dahveed was really looking to male nudity you know if you think about the oath of the ratio those Romans are fully clothed but here he's really looking back to Greek sculptures and to that particularly Greek idea of the celebration of the human body as we were standing here and I'm looking at the figure of her Celia this really strong female figure that so dominates the canvas with her breasts revealed through the drapery these beautiful folds of drapery that highlight her womb her legs spread with children in between it feels to me that this is about motherhood sure we know the Devi was imprisoned and visited by his wife even though she was estranged and also perhaps had Royalists sympathies so one wonders if this is a reconciliation that's both personal and political for Davi [Music] you