Lascivious images should be banned
Year mention: 1617
Pan ; Phallus ; Satyr ; Venus

Lascivious images are prostitution for the eyes, and thus they should be prohibited

Molanus, Johannes
Jean Mignon - Venus Bathing Attended by Nymphs, 1535–1555
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,

Molanus argues that indecent and lascivious art, such as naked Venuses or Satyrs, should be forbidden because they are prostitution to the eye.

“And once again, in the words of the presbyter Clement of Alexandria, who after his reprehension of the pagans, which, while lying in bed, looked at painted panels with a naked Venus, which also hold small Pans, naked young girls, drunken satyrs, and erected phalluses, all showing their nudity in the painting, finally concludes: ‘We declare that not only the use of these but even the memory of the sight and hearing of them must be given up. Your ears are defiled and your eyes prostituted. Still stranger is the fact that your looks commit adultery before your embrace.'”

“Et rursum ad verba Clementis Alexandriae presbyteri, qui post acrem reprehensionem paganorum, eo quod in cubili decumbentes Venerem nudam respiciunt in tabellis depictis, habeant quoque Paniscos et nudas puellas et ebrios satyros et membrorum erectiones quae picturis nudantur, tandem concludit, Horum non solum usus sed etiam aspectus et auditus deponendam esse memoriam vobis annunciamus. Scortatae sunt aures vestrae, fornicati sunt oculi. Et quod est magis novum, ante complexum vestri adulterium admiserunt aspectus.”

Date mention

Historical Location

Molanus, De historia sanctarum imaginum et picturarum (1617), book 2, ch. 42, 151

David Freedberg, “Johannes Molanus on Provocative Paintings. De Historia Sanctarum Imaginum et
Picturarum, Book II, Chapter 42″, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 1971, Vol. 34 (1971), pp. 229-

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