Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Europe Overcome by Bull


After last week’s disappointingly normal entries, this week we are back with more from the mythological naked lady lover, François Boucher.  It’s a double feature again, because these two works form a thematic set of being totally blasé about abduction and sexual assault. 



The paintings represent the story of the abduction and rape of the woman Europa (sometimes used as a personification of Europe).  The story goes like this: in a totally out of character move, Zeus has the hots for Europa, so he disguises himself as an animal to get close to her and have sweet, sweet bestial sex.  Remember the swan?  This time it’s a white bull.  Which I guess is at least slightly more anatomically plausible in terms of human-animal proportions, if you want to consider the logistics, which I really don’t.



So, he transforms into a bull and hides out in her father’s herd.  Europa and friends are hanging out and gathering flowers, because that was the only acceptable lady-activity in ancient times besides being lusted after.  In the midst of the flower-gathering, she spots the bull and starts caressing it, apparently not questioning the fact that she’s never seen this particular bull before.  Maybe Zeus had some background info on her personal preferences and the bull wasn’t such a longshot choice of animal, after all.  Anyway, eventually she sits on the Mystery Bull’s back, and at this point Zeus the Bull seizes the opportunity to zoom off into the sea and swim to Crete with her.  Presumably it’s this point that he rapes her, although Wikipedia tactfully only mentions that he made her queen of Crete.



The first painting is “The Abduction of Europa.”




This is the most laid-back abduction ever.  First off, the “abducted” lady is surrounded by people, none of whom seem to bat an eye at the random bull their friend has plonked down on like some kind of smelly La-Z-Boy. 




They’re more like, “Hey Europa, want some more flowers to adorn that adorable bull?  He’s so kewwwwwt.”




Europa herself doesn’t seem terribly concerned by the situation.  She’s not even paying much attention to the naked baby angel she has on a leash, who frankly looks way more threatening than the bull.  She’s just sort of staring blankly into space, enjoying her very comfy, loose-fitting garb. 




Even the bull isn’t in a rush to get up.  The random naked man coming out of the sea (who no one seems to notice) is more concerned with the situation, whispering, “Uh, hey, Zeus, you might want to get a move on with the whole abduction thing before Hera notices what you’re doing.  Again.” 




The dude behind him in the water is the most concerned of anyone, wondering to himself, “Is this really a smart abduction plan?  Having a bovine swim to an island, with nothing to hold the woman in place?  Should we at least knock her out?  No?  Ok then.”



Now we get to the second painting, “The Rape of Europa.” 




This is also the most laid-back rape ever, as Europa still doesn’t seem to have noticed that anything is amiss.  Maybe she goes long-distance swimming with bulls as a part of her regular health routine.  Frankly this looks suspiciously like the scene we just saw, with lots of ladies and flowers hanging out, except here there are less clothes and the accompanying cupids look more like they are melting.



In conclusion, Zeus was a horny bastard, and ancient ladies were either totally oblivious or into some really kinky stuff.

20 comments:

  1. You could say Europa was at fault for showing the bull her boobs and not noticing the massive boner between its hind legs, but that would be missing the point. Which is why can't that horny bastard Zeus seduce a woman in the normal way of showing her his baby photos and promising to buy her a flat in the shopping district?

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    1. It would seem that they had furries even back then. Zeus was just better at it than most.

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  2. Unlike with the swan (shudder), this "rape" doesn't seem anatomically possible considering their respective positions.

    The scary naked man coming out of the water, which seemingly is under an invisibility spell to which viewer are immune, is the creepiest element of this whole painting!

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  3. I quite like the angels overhead who are trying to spread the tablecloth ready for a picnic but seem to be having the devil of a time with it in the breeze.

    As far as sport is concerned I much prefer working out with sheep, you know - weights, treadmill, a nice sauna and a plunge afterwards.

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    1. It's true, but sheep can take off a few inches just by shaving, which is always a little unfair when it comes to the weekly "Biggest Loser" competition.

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  4. The bull in the first painting looks a little haggard to be Zeus. It reminds me of a guy in his 60s who has spend his life smoking two packs a day and living on a bar stool- sort of droopy and worn out. Maybe that's why it doesn't look like a rape has occurred, because it probably didn't. He tells Europa, "Let's not and say we did, I'm too tired. But I gotta keep the god impression going, so, you know." Hence her knowing smile in the second painting

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    1. I could see that! Zeus definitely had some hard partying in his day, that had to catch up with him at some point.

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  5. There were a lot of fat flying babies around in ancient times. It must have been a real nuisance.

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    1. Sadly the flying gene was bred out of babies in the early days, requiring much greater investment in prams and getting up in the middle of the night.

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  6. What I find hard humorously disturbing is that this seems to be a male rape-fantasy. "But she was totally into it! She even had her flying babies decorate us with flowers! She said no but her eyes said yes!" Maybe it's just a Boucher thing...

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    1. A male-rape fantasy where he is literally an animal, no less! With flowers and flying babies. Yeah, I think it may just be a Boucher thing.

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  7. Why does a god need to go through all this trouble? Can't he just reach his giant hand down from the heavens and take whomever he wants? What a perv.

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    1. Zeus is pretty much the King of Pervs. With a side of Furry. (Does it still count as a Furry if he likes birds too? Hmm.)

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  8. Sometime during her abduction/swim/rape/flying-baby-wrangling she seems to have time to have ducked out to buy a new frock. Nice to know that fashion was so important back then.

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    1. Well, if you're going to be made queen for your abduction troubles, you may as well have a new dress for the occasion.

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  9. I have a Pinterest board where I try to pin art that is telling a lot more than it's showing. But I'm not a great art student so it's not always easy for me to analyse what the artist was going for. I'm very lucky to have stumbled upon someone who seems to know what they're doing in this area.

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    1. That's a pretty awesome collection of art you've got gathered there! I'm no art expert, but I like to hope that I am a great student of what aspects of a piece are ridiculous to the modern non-expert viewer.

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  10. Your blog is hilarious! You have a new follower.

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    1. Thanks very much! It's great to have you here!

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