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Video transcript

we're in the Louvre and we're looking at a painting by one of David's followers one of his students an artist whose name is quite long but is usually just shortened to zero day and the title of the painting is the sleep of Endymion so this is an ancient myth and it speaks of a shepherd who was an ideal beauty and he gotten into a disagreement with the goddess Juno who as punishment put him into a thirty year long sleep but rather kindly and to further the story I guess um doesn't have him age so he maintains his ideal beauty during that 30 year sleep and in this scene he's visited by the chaste goddess Diana who's the goddess of the hunt and apparently was so in love with him that she visited every night she takes the form of a moonbeam well she's associated with the moon and so that's how she's personified here and she bathes him in light the beam is coming down from the moonlit sky but it's got to get through all of that underbrush and you'll notice that there's another figure that's sefar who's a personification of the west wind who helps Diana by pulling the boughs back so that her light can bathe him in that extraordinary glow so we see this interest in the ideal male nude we know that David's followers at this time we're looking back at Aintree great sculptures of nude athletes and gods and there's a real interest here in that nudity but the form is softened so that we don't really have a lot of anatomical detail in terms of musculature maybe we see a little bit in the abdomen but if we look at the arms and the legs they look rather soft and in a way a little bit feminine oh there's no question in fact the entire painting glows so that all of the clarity of line has been removed and I think it's quite clear the zero day has been looking at some of the earlier Italian masters I'm thinking about Leonardo's use of spume opto and I'm thinking about some of the later Mannerist painters I think we have in some ways the beginnings of romanticism in a figure that is really languid and sensual there's a emotionalism here that's very different from the severity and the rationalism of Davide neoclassicism no I think that's right in some ways at least in terms of temperament this is a return to the more lascivious or actually you can't say the lascivious because of course Diana was chaste but to the emotionalism and the interests of the heart that had been so much a part of the Rococo