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: Caroline Koncz

Title: Seductress or Abductor?

Subtitle: Dangerous Women in the Art of Pietro Liberi

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: 17th Century | European History: Italian History | Representations: Art / Pietro Liberi


Link: -


Speaker: Caroline Koncz, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Angelo State University -

Abstract: »In the past few decades, art historians have only now begun to consider early modern images of sexual violence beyond the works' formal components. Likewise, cultural institutions have recently made strides in this endeavor, organizing exhibitions such as "The Renaissance Nude" at the Getty and "Titian: Love, Desire, Death," at the National Gallery to, at long last, deal with the problematic subject matter of artworks that usually cast women as helpless victims of rape and men as their attackers. While scholars have examined a number of these works in greater detail, many of which feature Jupiter's "abductions" or Tarquin's violence towards the Roman noblewoman Lucretia, relatively fewer have studied pieces featuring female assailants. In this talk, I will consider how several paintings by the early modern Italian artist Pietro Liberi cast women as the licentious pursuers, painting them as dangerous vixens. In doing so, I claim that Liberi's art helped perpetuate the long-held myth that women were unremittingly lustful and thus in need of greater social control from their male peers. Furthermore, such imagery arguably encouraged male period viewers to believe that women constantly desired sex, thereby stripping them from the already limited bodily autonomy they possessed in patriarchal society.« (Source: Online Program)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Italy / History of early modern Italy | Art: Italian Baroque art / Pietro Liberi | Sex and the law: Sexual violence