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The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion
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The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Originally published in 1983, Leo Steinberg's classic work has changed the viewing habits of a generation. After centuries of repression and censorship, the sexual component in thousands of revered icons of Christ is restored to visibility. Steinberg's evidence resides in the imagery of the overtly sexed Christ, in Infancy and again after death. Steinberg argues that the a ...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1983)
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Lance Kinzer
Sep 14, 2014 Lance Kinzer rated it really liked it
I found the author's theory on the theological basis for the depiction of Christ in Renaissance art to be quite plausible. I read the 2nd Edition which devotes a great deal of time to addressing the books critics. While I can certainly understand Steinberg's desire to defend his theory against all comers, I think I might just as well have stopped where the 1st edition concluded. Written in an engaging fashion with wit and aplomb to spare this book should be of interest to anyone interested in th ...more
Apr 06, 2009 Darcy marked it as to-read
Looks really interesting! analyses different religious paintings and points out the symbolism and hidden messages in each one. for example: it's very common for the child to be holding the mothers chin or breast, or she may be touching the child's groin, or even more common there is a man in the painting admiring the child's groin, totally interesting with tons of paintings as references.
Mar 28, 2016 Neev rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best and most engaging art history books I've ever read. The writing is humorous and very accessible, even if you don't have an extensive background knowledge of Renaissance art or the culture of the time period. The basic premise of the text is reassessing some of the more puzzling depictions of Christ by examining them in their proper socio-cultural context, which reveals the symbolism and concepts that would have been more obvious to contemporary viewers of these pieces. St ...more
Mar 16, 2011 Tom marked it as to-read
Shelves: spirituality, art
I'd never heard of Steinberg before reading his obit in NYT yesterday, but this book sounded intriguing, especially coming on heels of another article I'd just read re Renaissance art and Christianity, in America, National Catholic Weekly (see 2nd link below).

Aug 26, 2011 Ms rated it really liked it
Don't let the blunt wording of the book title offend you. This book is a respectful, scholarly inquiry into a topic most polite people are encouraged to ignore, but with all the provided pictorial evidence, makes it difficult to do so.

Definitely a book I will re-read after I study more Medieval and Renaissance paintings.
Dean Mathiowetz
Nov 10, 2007 Dean Mathiowetz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-read
Yes, Jesus had a penis. And once upon a time it was a very big deal. This book contains not only Steinberg's original essay, but a series of commentaries on the shortcomings of its critics, and digressions on those digressions. And don't forget all the pictures of Jesus'....yah. Quite an education.
Oct 05, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing
There must be a reason why artists for 500+ years have depicted Christ (especially the infant version) naked. This book outlines the reasons. Art history is rarely as polemical and controversial as this book, which makes it all the more engaging.
Kathryn Kopple
Aug 02, 2012 Kathryn Kopple rated it it was amazing
Leo Steinberg, always eloquent, offers an account of Humanism as celebrated in Renaissance art of such scope and interest that it makes this book one of the great intellectual adventures and achievements of our times.
Feb 02, 2016 Saskia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic, art
Mar 25, 2011 Marielle rated it it was amazing
I adore books that expose me to new ways of thinking. This was one of them. Fantastically researched. And re-researched!
David Glenn Dixon
Feb 18, 2013 David Glenn Dixon rated it it was amazing
Someday I'll get to the addenda.
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