Talk:Feast of the Gods (art)

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Feast of the Gods query[edit]

What the hell is going on?

-copied from User talk:Cynwolfe (forthcoming) -Any idea if a specific episode is shown at right foreground here? Thanks, Johnbod (talk) 17:35, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

I honestly have no idea, but being an American, I will not be deterred by ignorance from bloviating.
But first, you may have viewed a version of this work that shows detail more clearly than I can see here: the mature gentleman who is being bathed (by three Graces?), does he have a beard, and/or is that soapy water around his throat? Is he wearing something like a turban? And is this a single unified scene, or a narrative? The central figure getting her hair done would typically be Venus, especially with Cupid looking in the mirror. But the woman in the couple on the left also looks as if she could be Venus, and the shape of the male's hip seems to echo that of the bather's rather closely.
An innocuous detail that puzzles me is the water jar under Venus's knee (if the central figure is Venus). Since a tipped-over jar with water flowing from it is the common attribute of a river god, and river gods are usually bearded, I'd think this was a river god if it made any sense to bathe one in a tub. If he were a youth rather than bearded, the dog would make me think of Adonis. Is the little white thing between Cupid and the dog just a comb? I can't see it very well.
Off the top of my head, I can think of only a few scenarios that might involve a mature man being bathed. If the women are Graces, the male might be a hero being divinely endowed with praeternatural beauty, particularly after rough adventures, like Aeneas (for the benefit of Dido) or Odysseus (by virtue of Athena, though). An old man would be a resurrection rite, like the pretense of Medea tricking the daughters of Pelias, but this man is of the solid, mature "Zeus" type, not a decrepit geezer. If the central figure is Venus, the only lovers or consorts I can think of who are usually depicted as mature and bearded (since she favors the youths) are Mars (but none of his attributes are suggested) or Anchises: even though at the time of their union, Anchises seems to have been young, his role in the Aeneas legend tends to promote a paternal depiction. Anchises might also explain the turban, if that's what I see, since I think (you would know better than I) the Trojans tend to be depicted as the European perception of "Turks" by this period. But I can't recall Anchises being bathed, and Mars would more likely need a good gore-removing bath before he was acceptable for the banquet of love. Still, the water spilling from the general area of his genitals suggests a river god. I've seen that someplace else more explicitly recently … oh, yes: Giulio Romano, Psyche's Second Task.
A quick search suggests a better possibility: that it isn't a specific scene, but generic as described here, which for all I know is how your sources are seeing it. Cranach's Fountain of Youth, and Sebald's Fountain of Youth and Bathhouse, and Floris's Feast of the Gods share the common elements of lots of fleshy people with a general air of license, banqueting, music, coupling, and most relevant, bathing. I'm familiar only with the more thoroughly clothed (and dry) feasts of the gods for the wedding of Cupid and Psyche or of Peleus and Thetis, or the Titian-Bellini picnic type. So will be interested in the article. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:16, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, he has a beard. He's not so much old as with craggy un-Hellenic features that make me think he's Vulcan. Perhaps the ladies think he's smelly from the forge or the kitchen (he tended to cook at these affairs). Or messy after his attempt at Minerva? He's clearly being forcibly held down; the fact the women can do so might also suggest Vulcan, though his legs look fine. Or does the way the nearest leg is held suggest it's weak? He should be a god (likewise at least the naked ladies, maybe not the one holding his shoulders), & there should be some classical story behind the incident, though the main scene is supposedly just "one of those Olympian crowd scenes so prized in the late sixteenth century" (Bull, 185). I think the "turban" is just his hair sticking up - scruffy Vulcan again. It does look like a comb or hair ornament. There's a lot of spilling fluid going on, certainly. It's interesting that none of the figures seem to be clearly identifiable by attributes etc - usually at least some are. This is the type of work it's supposed to be; the two weddings you mention are very often the nominal subject, but by this period they are normally Lunch at the Nudist Colony as here. The museum blog it came from offers no identification. Thanks anyway. Anyone else? Johnbod (talk) 12:17, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I found the lack of attributes interesting too. Vulcan is an amusing idea. Paul August? Haploidavey? That delinquent Davidiad? Cynwolfe (talk) 12:28, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I searched in vain for commentary on this painting - will keep an eye open. But Venus and Vulcan, why not? A dirty scruff-pot, a bit of a yoik, "fresh" from the smithy and a cuckold to boot. A forced bathing by Venus' ladies under the patronising gaze of Herself seems suitably demeaning. On a more personal note, those copious fluids worry me; there's bad plumbing upstairs from here, or else they're bathing a dirty old deity without due care. My ceiling has these horrible brown water stains. Haploidavey (talk) 13:07, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I hope you don't mind a stranger butting in, but I think I can offer two tentative identifications and one positive:
  1. The musician might be Apollo
  2. Dionysus should be at the feast, so let's say he's the one with his back to us with a platter that includes grapes
  3. The character in the foreground does sleep with Venus.
NebY (talk) 21:11, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! I thought I'd seen a King Charles with Herself before. I'll bet there's a tradition about that I don't know. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:18, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm copying this to Talk:Feast of the Gods (art), so please make any further comments there. Thanks for all the comments. The more I think about the painting, I see it as a genre brothel scene in fancy dress rather than a serious attempt at a mythological subject, but the group round the basin are still puzzling & seem to need a specific referent. Johnbod (talk) 02:21, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Consistent presentation of pictures[edit]

Johnbod: Clearly you have a lot of ownership for this article but your presentation of images is not particularly consistent. The Jordaens thumb at the top is a nice way to introduce the topic but then things go a bit askew (particularly if you're viewing the article from a large hi-res screen). The Bartolomeo thumb is placed arbitrarily at the end of the intro section (even though it belongs to the "Italian Renaissance". The Bellini thumb is placed nicely, but then you have a gallery of later 16th-century examples below it. In the "Northern Mannerism" section, you again revert to thumbnails that stretch downward into the notes section on a big screen. I reconciled all this by consistently putting pics in galleries directly beneath the accompanying text (like you originally did in the "Italian Renaissance" section for the Rafael, Romano, and Floris works). Let's work together here. Randy Wagner (talk) 14:01, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Sorry; once again you prefer one layout, and I prefer the existing one. No-one else seems very interested. So there we are. You arrangement has only 3 images not in galleries, and lots of text with no images. Mine has 6 images not in galleries, and no significant text without images. Johnbod (talk) 14:13, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Let's just agree to disagree and I'll leave articles for which you're the principal author alone in this regard. I'm guessing that you're viewing from a tablet or smartphone based on your reply. Randy Wagner (talk) 14:27, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
No, a widescreen on a desktop, like you. Johnbod (talk) 14:49, 12 February 2018 (UTC)