Despite its relevance to modern discussions, the scholarly treatment of torture in art is relatively infrequent. This project explores, through the visual evidence of artistic works, the implications of Renaissance philosophies surrounding the human body in the context of pain and particularly the physical suffering endured during torture. By examining varying techniques of representing the human form across an array of artistic media, this article strives to illuminate the struggle between the rise of scientific naturalism and prevailing currents of spiritual dualism when considering the question of the body in torment. In highlighting the artist as narrator of Renaissance society’s moral, spiritual, and political tropes, this research sheds additional light on Renaissance humanity’s understanding of itself in the intensified instances of physical suffering at the hands of the state. In analyzing images of torture in light of Renaissance understandings of the body, this article seeks to contribute a more contextual perspective on these types of representations to the ongoing academic dialogue.
Guzik, Helena FCRH '12
"Visual Forms, Visceral Themes: Understanding Bodies, Pain, and Torture in Renaissance Art,"
Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://fordham.bepress.com/furj/vol2/iss1/2