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Eine Genealogie der Venusbildlichkeit in deutschen Gedichten der galanten Epoche

Stephanie Heimgartner

Pages 271 - 287

German poems from the period of literary gallantry (i.e. the period from 1680 to 1730) often explicitly evoke erotic topics. In this kind of poetry we often find, apart from the ample use of the image of the sea, an ideal of love personified by the goddess Venus rising from the sea. The article traces back this cardinal motif to Marinist Italian poetry and from there to Marsilio Ficino’s metaphysics of love. Under the impression of the religious conflicts of the time, early modern approaches to human affections underwent an important change. The idea of courteous love was substituted by the notion of matrimonial love on the one hand and the notion of the love of God on the other hand. In the later Baroque period, erotic affections and practices not fitting into this pattern found a means of expression in poetry. The poetry of Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau and of some of his contemporaries may serve to illustrate this development. These poems are remarkable for their mythological imagery and their ornate, witty style borrowed from Giambattista Marino’s major epic poem Adone.


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