This article concerns attitudes to melancholia and melancholic painters in the literature of the arts from sixteenth-century Italy, and focuses primarily on the writings of Giorgio Vasari, with some attention also to texts by Pino, Dolce, Lomazzo, and others. Remarks made by these authors are analyzed in relation to other sources of primary evidence, ranging from a carnival song to a treatise by Marsilio Ficino on "black bile," the humor supposed to cause melancholia.
Two anonymous and little known works of art from sixteenth-century France, a poem of 1545, "Les Obseques d'Amour," and a somewhat later painting now in the Louvre, Les Fun?railles de l'amour, have in common their portrayal of the funeral of Cupid, the god of love, a theme otherwise unknown at the time and one which has resisted modern attempts to explain its meaning. This article proposes that in both cases Cupid's burial is a metaphor for the rejection of carnal love by a group of Parisian women then charged with sexual immorality and that the painting is derived from the poem.
Historians agree that early modern Spaniards' sexual behavior deviated significantly from norms set forth in royal and canon law. The question of how Spaniards resolved the tensions between their sexual norms as encoded in law and their nonnormative sexual behaviors has yet to be addressed. This essay argues that seventeenth-century Spaniards mitigated such tension by using laws and legal systems to transform deviant behavior into acceptable behavior when it was culturally expedient.
The Androgyne takes its name from the myth in Plato's Symposium. Gen. 2, where man and wife are to be one flesh, gives us the marriage androgyne. From Gen. 1, in which Adam is male and female, we have another sort of androgyne, this one purely of the spirit. Drawing on these sources, Renaissance writers made use of the androgyne as a figure of desire (both heterosexual and homosexual), of marital fidelity and marital infidelity, and of the soul seeking union with the divine.
Scholars have wondered why Rabelais dedicated his Third Book (1546) to Marguerite de Navarre, since the book is filled with ridicule of women. In attempting to discover why Rabelais might have done this, the following essay suggests that he and Marguerite shared an interest in marriage, and in particular, they both opposed clandestine marriage, then under discussion by the Council ofTrent.
Much work has been accomplished in recent years on the relationship between the English and continental reformations, but research is focused primarily on the impact of Martin Bucer and Peter Martyr Vermigli on English theologians and university students during the reign of Edward VI. Comparatively little has been written about Heinrich Bullinger, whose writings, translated into English more frequently than Bucer's or Vermigli's, reached a wider English audience.
Archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker (1504-75) defended priestly matrimony throughout his career. His life, library, and letters provide counterevidence to Eric Carlson's argument that the clergy failed to receive marriage enthusiastically and were themselves responsible for its slow acceptance in England.
Clerical marriage during the time of the Reformation raised issues of theology for the reformers, but for the Catholics it flagged issues of morality in its verdict that theology was simply being used in the service of immorality. This is best underscored in the matrimonial case involving Martin Luther and Katherine von Bora. Luther's writings on the subject of marriage had to be applied to his own life. Protestants defended Luther, while Catholic polemicists, especially Thomas More, attacked the matter of clerical marriage relentlessly.