Antinous – överallt Antinous : En receptionshistoria om antikens vackraste man

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för kultur och estetik

Sammanfattning: This thesis explores the reception history of Antinous, favourite to the roman emperor Hadrian. Using Michel Foucault's genealogical method, the aim of the thesis is to examine and conclude that Antinous is still, albeit at times hidden, the archetype of the young beautifulman in Western visual culture by examining the expressions of the representation and reception of Antinous as a male ideal of beauty and its change over time. The thesis also poses the question whether it is possible, with the employment of Foucault’s concept of genealogy, to approach the development over time of Antinous’s discourse, and to establish that its core is a male ideal of beauty that can at any time be linked, explicitly or implicitly, to Antinous. Furthermore, in order to answer the research questions and thus, be able to trace Antinous's reception, this essay uses material that lies outside a purely art historical discipline. In addition to artistic and visual images of Antinous från antiquity to the late nineteen-eighties, widespread fiction from authors such as Oscar Wilde, Thomas Mann and Herman Bang alongwith the feature films The Wings and Death in Venice have been thoroughly investigated in search of an Antinous type, along with the art historical writings of Johan Joachim Winckelmann and Viktor Rydberg. Lastly, the study succeeds in conveying that Antinous's distinctive traits, which arose from an apotheosis nearly two thousand years ago and which began when the historical figure Antinous ended his days in the Nile, have survived both a disappearance from the public consciousness and a coding as a homosexual icon and, for that specific reason, a concealment during different succeeding historical periods. Nevertheless, as this thesis establishes, the image and myth of Antinous has still operated whilst remaining in a hidden existence, and in spite of all the above, these traits have re-emerged as universal male traits in a typology of beauty whose overall significance for the male ideal is conspicuously provable.

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