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Where Ethics and Aesthetics Meet: Titian's Rape of Europa

A. W. Eaton
Hypatia
Vol. 18, No. 4, Women, Art, and Aesthetics (Autumn - Winter, 2003), pp. 159-188
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Hypatia, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3810979
Page Count: 30
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Where Ethics and Aesthetics Meet: Titian's Rape of Europa
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Abstract

Titian's Rape of Europa is highly praised for its luminous colors and sensual textures. But the painting has an overlooked dark side, namely that it eroticizes rape. I argue that this is an ethical defect that diminishes the painting aesthetically. This argument-that an artwork can be worse off qua work of art precisely because it is somehow ethically problematic-demonstrates that feminist concerns about art can play a legitimate role in art criticism and aesthetic appreciation.

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