Pompeian Art and Homosexuality in the Early Twentieth Century
Eduard von Mayer’s Pompeii as an Art City, ostensibly a guidebook to the visual culture of the ancient town, called for a return to the enlightened sexual mores of the Roman past by pointing to the ancient homoeroticism in ‘everyday life’, as seen through Pompeii’s ‘humble’ art. This chapter places the project of Mayer within the context of the early homosexual emancipation movement in Germany, which aimed to find homoeroticism in the art and literature of the past. Analysing the way in which Mayer bolsters his claims about how homoeroticism was celebrated in Pompeian art, it argues that Mayer’s emphasis on continuity between the past and present allowed him to present the Roman past as a moral paradigm for the present. This chapter proposes that Pompeii’s unique ability to provide ‘everyday’ art in its original context made it particularly useful in early twentieth-century arguments promoting homosexuality.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.