Quote from "The Metal Pig" (1842)

Registered motifs in this quote

The boy was dazzled by the magnificence; the walls were radiant with color, and everything there had life and movement. The picture of Venus, the earthly Venus, impassioned and glowing life, as Titian saw her, shone in redoubled splendor. Near her were the portraits of two lovely women, reclining on soft cushions, with beautiful, unveiled limbs, heaving bosoms, and luxuriant locks falling over rounded shoulders, while their dark eyes betrayed passionate thoughts. But none of these pictures dared to step forth from their frames. The goddess of beauty herself, the Gladiators, and the Grinder remained on their pedestals, subdued by the halo around the Madonna, with the infants Jesus and St. John. The holy pictures were no longer just pictures; they were the saints themselves.

Registered motifs in this quote:

  1. Jesus Christ
  2. Madonna
  3. Saint

Keywords: Venus, beauty, sensuality, saint John

Comment: This quote ia a good example of Hans Christian Andersen's way of writing about sensuality. It is suppressed, it must be restrained, because it is a powerful force; passionate thoughts! Classical religion is oppposed to christianity as lecherous fleshfulness against strict spirituality, a tension, that is also present in among others the debut novel from the Italian, The Improvisatore (1835), and that must be recognized as a mark of the oeuvre. This way to imply and yet not write about the sexual is in thread with victorian art and literature.