Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: March 1, 2024 - Last updated: March 1, 2024


Speaker: Louisa M.U. Bergold

Title: The Popularity of Lucretia in Sixteenth-Century Germany

Subtitle: -

Conference: 70th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (March 21-23, 2004) - Online Program

Session: Art and Rape Culture: Aesthetics and Politics of an Iconography (Chair: Peter Bell)

Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Date: March 22, 2024

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 16th Century | European History: German History | Cases: Mythological Victims / Lucretia; Types: Rape; Representations: Art


Link: -


Abstract: »Very few female iconographies portray a greater paradox during the sixteenth century than Lucretia. Her rape and death appear in public in fresco form, as reliefs or statuettes. Remarkably, between 1550 and 1605, artists even chose her for council halls. While artists during the earlier half of the period, focused on the suicide scene, the latter part was more interested in the rape. While suicide was both a sin and a crime, scholars became more interested in the concept of an "innocent" suicide. The effects of rape on mental health lacked a clear definition, but especially artists and writers were showing glimpses of interest in the inner life of trauma. Tarquin's attack on Lucretia is a frequent motif in paintings, but also various other (intimate) artifacts. Artisans were moving between compassion, voyeurism, and a fascination with the absolute fidelity of a wife. I pair the discourse on this iconography with a study of female suicides and cases of sexual violence during the same time: the emotional worlds of a "real life Lucretia" show a complex dissonance between iconography and the perception of real women and their bodies; courts, the churches, and the survivor's families display a surprising range of opinions.« (Source: Online Program)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Germany / Germany in the early modern period | Myth: Roman mythology / Lucretia | Sex and the law: Rape / History of rape