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Current time:0:00Total duration:2:11

Orazio Gentileschi's paintings of women and divine love

Video transcript

(religious music) Male narrator: We think that these three paintings were created as an ensemble to invite comparison and suggest meaning to a culture heavily steep in Christian theology. Gentileschi chose his subjects from three different sources. One is taken from Greco-Roman mythology, one from the Hebrew scriptures, and one from Christian rights. In each case the subject concerns a woman's relationship with God, particularly concerning love and sex. Each woman is engaged by engazing out of the frame at something we can't see. It is the presence of God. In each of the compositions, Gentileschi uses the principal gesture to help tell the essence of the story. Lot's daughter points back toward the burning Sodom, where all of mankind has presumed and perished as if to justify their actions with their father. (religious music) Danae looks a bit apprehensive as she throws up her arm in a gesture perhaps of welcome, or perhaps of abandonment to the inevitability of Jupiter's arrival in the shower of gold. Danae had no choice in the matter, she had to abandon herself to Jupiter's loss. She did not have free will and was at the mercy of faith. Unlike Danae who reaches up toward the shower of gold, Mary Magdalene is completely immobilized by the awesome presence of the divine. Mary Magdalene led a wanting life, filled with sexual sin until she encountered Christ and converted becoming one of his closest followers. She has said to have ended her days in Southern France where she inhabited a cave. Abandoning herself completely to God's will. (religious music)