Livia Stoenescu: ABSTRACT: Re-Interpreting the Myth of Trojan Descent

In the early sixteenth century when German humanists overturned many assumptions on the birth of ethnic entities, the attack on the Trojan myth found adherents among those who began to repudiate the notion of Trojan descent as pretentious and outmoded, and sought their roots in the nobility of all Germany. Imperial dedication to the Trojan legend had become an object of derision, and so artists and monarchs were prepared to recast the splendors of the Greco-Roman past in new materials and within new works of art. Late sixteenth-century painting negotiates this novel direction in evocative instances of re-construction and deconstruction of the myth of Trojan descent. My paper seeks to shed light on the efforts to depart from the alluring legacy of classical antiquity, visible in Federico Barocci’s rendition of the flight of Aeneas from Troy and El Greco’s own invented narrative of Laocoon and his sons.