Monday, March 9, 2009

Can They... Do That?

The Swing was painted around the dawn of the Rococo period in the 1700s. The man who commissioned the painting wanted a rather controversial painting of his mistress (That's right, not his wife).

Here was the result.

infidelity incarnate

This Fragonard painting is not just a shallow painting about a french man's little girlfriend residing at his pleasure house. One man in the painting guides the woman on the swing with a pair of ropes. The other hides in the bush so that he can see up the woman's dress.

As you can probably guess, the man hiding in the bush... yes bush... pun intended by the painter...

Anywho. The man hiding in the bush symbolizes the man who commissioned the painting. He has positioned himself so that he can look up the woman's dress. He's having a little cheap fun... a little vulgar, but why not?

The other man with the ropes was originally supposed to be a bishop, or other member of the clergy, but Fragonard depersonalized the idea and made the character simply another man.

The girl in the swing wears a frilly dress (usual attire for the rich in the period) and sings happily, her shoe flying off. This shoe has a number of symbolic values. The shoe in French symbolism represents virginity. When shoes come off... well... you can guess what comes next. So this woman's shoe flying off her foot is meant to be more than just a little mistake. It means something more.

Now, this is all fine and dandy. The work of art is an appreciated work of art typical of the Rococo period.

But check out this little screenshot of the new Disney movie, Rapunzel.

flying shoe!

Now Disney is Disney. There's a pretty glaring issue here. It might be offensive, it might not be. The 2-D animation for Rapunzel will be meant to look like an animated traditional oil painting, so the reference is anything but accidental.

The question is, should Disney be making reference to this type of symbolism?

Take it as you will.


DaiKamonohashi said...

It's going to be 3D animation and they're basing it on the Rococo style, not the symbolism.

I don't see the issue here other than that you seem to be reading into it far more than you should.

C.J. said...

Disney always has a little adult in their films, a little scandal. Personally I don't mind. As a kid I didn't get it and when I grew up and finally understood, well it wasn't news. I doubt that it will matter much, the animators have fun and when the kids grew up they can have fun looking for all the sexual references. That's what me and my friends did. We turned out just fine.

Plavita Phukan said...

disney may not be have such isues but posibilities always have its own issue.i see in the picture that repunzal was locked in that cage for long time and when she came out from there suddenly, there's possibility of doing mistakes by her.