Disturbingly erotic…or not?

I posted this a few months ago, but I’m having some trouble with spambots on a few of my posts, so I’m republishing with a slightly different permalink to see if that resolves the problem. Apologies to those who’ve already seen it!
An art historian is claiming that Dürer’s work is deeply erotic, in a highly explicit but subliminal way. The trouble is, she gives the answer away, and once you know the answer it’s impossible to unknow it! As a result, I can no longer look at the picture with objective eyes. So I’m asking you. Take a good look, spend several minutes and – here’s a hint – focus on other stuff going on in the picture, not on the woman breastfeeding the baby. It might also help if you half-close your eyes, forget that it’s representational art and think of it as something a bit like a Rorschach test. Think dirty!

8 thoughts on “Disturbingly erotic…or not?”

  1. Here is a summary of comments received so far:

    Artur: Oh man. Totally ruined Durer for me. (Facebook)

    Eamonn: “Very like a whale” if you ask me. (Facebook)

    Thelonious: I think she is grabbing at straws. (Facebook)

    Rafa: I can’t see anything in the slightest erotic in this. (Facebook)

    That makes it three to one (with me *still* undecided) against Dr. Garner!

  2. I see it. I think I would have seen this if I had looked for a while at it (even without the hint). But it’s tough to say! Once the idea was suggested to look at it like a Rorschach, I also wanted to read it a little like what you see in Dali(hair, eye-lashes, body parts).

  3. Hi, Valerie. “Dr” Elizabeth Garner published (on Kindle only) a book called _How the Great Hoax Began
    (Crimes in the Art: The Secret Cipher of Albrecht Dürer)
    _ in January of this year. She is gaily ungrammatical, and doesn’t seem to have any idea of academic references or anything like that. I haven’t read it all, but it seems she’s convinced that Dürer was bisexual, Jewish, and the author of a massive hoax that has concealed his real identity for 500 years. So far, the academic world has merely ignored her.

    She posted a link to her blog entry on a LinkedIn discussion group, and I replied mentioning a couple of academically-recognized art historians who’ve been publishing on sexual overtones in the Dutch realists. Her replies did not suggest any recognition of the names I mentioned, which doesn’t prove anything, but adds to the impression that she’s coming out of left field, without any real training in art history.

    Still, I’m vaguely curious about what she’s doing. Maybe *she’s* the one pulling a hoax, or maybe, in some way, she’s stumbled onto something but doesn’t know how to present it in an academically acceptable way.

  4. Yes–it could be (your idea that she doesn’t know how to present her views in a way that might be taken more seriously by some). She may well not be so concerned about them, and just sort of doing her own thing!

  5. Hi, Valerie. I downloaded both her books and in the acknowledgements to the first she points a finger at “Those who are guilty in preventing this book series from coming to life before this”, so I guess she is concerned at some level! As might be expected, the academic establishment is steering well clear of her – no reviews, or even mentions, in journals, etc.

    As they say, there’s a thin line between genius and insanity, and I must confess I’m intrigued to know whether she’s just a crackpot or whether she is actually onto something!

    If you are interested, please go to LinkedIn, where I am in discussion with Elizabeth Garner.