For this year's iteration of TEFAF online, Robilant+Voena is pleased to present three paintings which celebrate the seductive ambiguity of androgynous depictions of male beauty.
In a tradition which reaches back to antiquity, the tantalising duality of art which fuses the two sexes holds an enduring fascination. From a Renaissance painting of a nobleman in the guise of a classical youth, to a captivating contemporary portrait, R+V will explore this elusive and compelling concept.
Volterrano’s lissome Marchese Luigi di Alberto Altoviti pierces with viewer with his gaze. The elegant vase and tazza hint at Hylas, a companion of Hercules abducted by a river nymph while fetching water, or perhaps Ganymede, admired and stolen away by Jove to become his cupbearer – two figures whose astonishing beauty drove others wild with desire.
The sinewy figure of Oudry’s fisherman is a vision of ideal masculinity in line with contemporary taste, which had moved on from the previous generation’s more Herculean male body types to something more lithe and graceful. Poised in a dramatic manner, the figure is as full of tension as the bowed pole on which the titular fish is caught.