When in Rome, Do as Infants do.


Peter Paul Rubens. Romulus and Remus. Pinacoteca capitolina (Rome, Italy). http://library.artstor.org/asset/LESSING_ART_10310119992. Web. 6 Dec 2017.


Peter Paul Rubens is one of the artists discussed in Art 1010. The painting we discussed exclusively was “Elevation of the Cross” that showed the religious power during the time. As Professor Simon repeatedly says: “A change in era/time/politics equals a change in the form of art.  This work of art, similar to the “Elevation of the Cross” is also a piece of Baroque work, identified by its use of chiaroscuro (the contrast of light and dark in a painting to give a dramatic effect). The painting is given depth using a form of linear perspective where the two infants are in the center (center point) while everyone else takes to the background. The babies, both pale and pink are clean, protected by the she-wolf which tells the story of the twins, Romulus and Remus.

Then one, Romulus,
reveling in the tawny pelt of a wolf that nursed him,
will inherit the line and build the walls of Mars
and after his own name, call his people Romans.

Excerpts from Vergil’s Aeneid
Book 1

This image is literally the story of Romulus and Remus. Were twin brothers. Legend has it, they were the founders of Rome. Their mother, a Vestal Virgin, claimed she had been violated by Mars, the god of war. She was thrown into prison and the children were ordered to be drowned in the Tiber River for the sin her mother committed (breaking her vow not have sex). Rape was overlooked and women were thrown in jail for making such accusations. The twins survived. They were brought to a sacred fig tree and were protected by a she-wolf and a woodpecker that watched over them and brought them food.

The wolf is seen lying under a tree giving suck to an infant, while another plays nearby. The herdsman, Faustulus, who discovered them, is approaching. The god of the River Tiber reclines on his urn. Under the rule of Romulus the city of Rome grew in size and strength. Ruben highlights the survival of the twins being a great and wondrous gift. They are the center and bright part of the image so he wants them to be noticed.

The reason this image is the most important to me and for the homework is because it give a direct approach and visual to what the twins looked like when they were found by the huntsman in the woods. Romulus is reaching to the sky as if he knows that he is the kin of Mars- the Roman god of war. This supports how Rome got it’s name although it is a mere myth.

Cameron Team Jupiter

There’s a She-Wolf in the Closet

wolf titties

Image decription

This image depicts the mythology surrounding Romulus’s birth and nurture. According to legend, the rape of a Sabine Woman (Rhea Silvia) by the god Mars resulted in the birth of twins Romulus and Remus. Rhea was so ashamed of the births she rid herself of the children. Romulus and Remus were then found, suckled, and raised by a she-wolf.

Supporting quote from Vergil’s Aeneid

” The tradition goes on
to say that after the floating cradle in which the boys had been
exposed had been left by the retreating water on dry land, a thirsty
she-wolf from the surrounding hills, attracted by the crying of the
children, came to them, gave them her teats to suck and was so
gentle towards them that the king’s flock-master found her licking
the boys with her tongue. ”

Similarities and differences

The image is consistent with the tale of Romolus and Remus. The boys are depicted as suckling the wolf with her standing over them in a protective, almost maternal way.

Artist’s contributions

The artist depicts a playfulness between Romulus and Remus not discussed in the text. This is most likely meant to communicate the familial nature of the scene and enforce the she-wolf’s nurturing of the boys.

What most interests the artist?

The artist is most interested by the tale of the she-wolf. The piece of plain and straightforward in its intent to communicate the relationship between the wolf and the boys. While this is the focal point of the art piece, it is not a large part of the text.

Sophie, Team Juno

Cornell Gem Impressions Collection. “Brooklyn College Subscription Resource Login Required.” ASTOR, ASTOR, library.artstor.org.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/#/asset/SS35941_35941_22903711.