Geek’s girlfriend: This night, I want us to try out something wild and forbidden!
Geek: You mean, we’ll be dividing by zero?
Today’s daily post wants to know what I’ll never be writing about. What is forbidden?
Alas, the list of forbidden fruit I’ve not tried is shrinking over time. Never say never…
I thought I would never be writing about sex with animals, but I then saw Pan copulating with a she-goat at the British Museum (Pompei & Herculaneum exhibition).
After it was excavated in 1752 in Herculaneum, the Naples king kept it in the “Secret Room”. The sculpture was shown rarely, and only to men of high morals.
Today, except for the sign “Parental Guidance” in the museum, anyone can see, and watch it as much as they want.
If you don’t act as a high-moral judge of this “disreputable object of pagan licentiousness” and just look at it as a representation of love between different species (that’s just a god-goat and a girl-goat), you may even appreciate its beauty. There is a lot of beauty, love and passion in this relatively small work of art. And a lot of impulse, of thrust, movement.
Now, what is left on my taboo list?
Oh, religion. I love religious art, and there are a few posts in the making on this topic, but discussing religion? Never. Gods forgive anything their true believers do in their name. Atheists have no god to forbid them anything. It’s not a good playground for a discussion.
To illustrate what this topic means to me with a photograph, I’d take one of my favourite road signs:
PS Tell me, does the Pan sculpture offend you?
Good question. And I wonder if I have an answer. I think of myself as pretty open-minded when it comes to art, but I am looking at this piece with one eye closed. And the more I look, the more I can’t… I find myself just trying to focus on the faces and the hunch of his back.
I also felt uneasy around it, when I was looking at it “live”. The important thing is to STOP thinking about them as people. Pan was not human. The goat is not human, but somehow the mind makes her a representation of a woman. The moment you realise these two are SAME-SPECIES ANIMALS who love each other and this is pure and unrestrained love – that’s the time to open your second eye )
I totally hear you. I am just not doing a good job of following instructions, as usual 🙂 It must have been amazing to see it in person. What an experience. And the sensuality and passion are coming through loud and clear. That is for sure…
I also think the sculpture is quite beautiful, but I might be a *little* bias (ie considering technique over subject matter). I do, however, think that it seems pure somehow; like both entities are beaming with love 🙂
PS: This is the happiest comment ever written.
If any art makes you write happy comments, it is Art. I am yet to see anyone offended here, but can you imagine that many visitors in the 19th century lucky to be permitted to see it, were really, really angry at Romans! But you are so right about purity. Dirt is often in the mind of those who see it, but not in the heads of Pan and his goat lover )
What an interesting sculpture! To think that I took an entire college course solely on Pompeii & Herculaneum, and didn’t ever see it come up in the slides. Professor must have been a little scared to show it to a bunch of rowdy college kids 🙂
What a hypocrite! ) I hope he it at least showed you the frescoes of bedchambers, and explained that slaves were always attending the couple making love, offering refreshments, wiping foreheads, and occasionally helping their male masters to achieve the rigidity required for making children. They were a very liberal-minded society!
Yup, we went through the human-to-human interaction, just no goats 🙂
So you must have missed out at least some of the more racy Virgil, who was writing poems about men and goats )
I would steal this sign)))
I’ll get you a high-resolution picture!
Nah. Not only did it NOT offend me, it didn’t even get my goat! (but that’s from a human perspective . . . goats may have a different take on it).
They, goats, do indeed have a different perspective! Virgil mentioned male goats casting angry looks at such scenes ))