War languages
War and women in French and
Spanish Painting
Vesa Matteo Piludu
University of Helsinki
Department of Art Research
Claude Deruet, c. 1643
Madame de Saint-Baslemont de Neuville
 woman warrior who
actively defended
her manor during the
Thirty Year War
 Athena (palm and
 topography
 angel (trumpet,
 putti (laurel, flowers,
Madame de Saint-Baslemont de Neuville
 Class, possession, role, clothes: the masculine power’s symbols
occulted the signifiers of femininity
David, Napoleon at St. Bernard, 1800
Jean Jacques Francois Le Barbier, 1871
"Jeanne Hachette at the Siege of Beauvais in 1472"
 Class
 Weapons:
 Helpless
Jeanne Hachette
 Temporary warriors
 Husband’s cowardice
 Roucher’s epic Le Mois: ”Be men for them… if they are women for
 Women are more militant than the men
 Exemplum virtutis, model for men and women
 Moral vervor, patriotic emotion
Beauvais (Oise, France)
Statue de Jeanne Hachette
Goya, c. 1810. ”They are acting like wild beast”
 Absence of war propaganda
 Negative vision of the women
warriors … and of war in general
 The women are forced by war to
behave ”like wild beasts”
 They behave like something other
than women: men or animals
Goya, Disasters of war
Eugene Delacroix: Liberty Leading People, 1830
Venus of Melos
 Liberty is a bellicose leader not a peacemaker
 Is an allegory, not an historical figure
 Dramatic energy, convinction
 Leading a mixed group of males
 Ambiguity
 Semi-nudity of classical sculture and rought proletarian cloth of the
working class
 Is idealized, but at the same time concrete and sensual
 Prototipal women-warrior in the history of art
Liberty and sensuality
 Domesticity is irrilevant for Delacroix: a dandy
 Liberty has the same sensual vividness of other paintings
Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi (1827)
Honore Daumier: the repubblic, 1848
Jacques-Louis David:
The Oath of the Horatii 1784
Horatii and Curatii
Jacques-Louis David: The Sabine Women:
Tatius, Hersilia, Romolus
Jacques-Louis David:
Belisarius, 1781 and St. Roch and the Virgin, 1780

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