An article by  Mary D. Edwards, Adjunct Professor with CCE, entitled “Cross-dressing in the Arena Chapel: Giotto’s Virtue Fortitude Reexamined,” is included in Receptions of Antiquity, Constructions of Gender in European Art, 1300-1600, ed. Marice Rose and Alison C. Poe, Brill Publishers, Leiden, 2015 . In it Edwards argues that Giotto’s image of Fortitude, shown wearing a lion skin cape, alludes not to Hercules but to Omphale, the Queen of Lydia. According to Greco-Roman mythology, Hercules was made the slave of Omphale as penance for having committed murder. While in servitude, Hercules wore the queen’s dress and spun wool while Omphale covered herself with his leonine cape and carried his club. Seneca, Ovid and other ancient authors whose works were read in Padua by 13th-century Humanists related the story, and the image of Omphale garbed in a lion skin appears in Greco-Roman art from cameos to life-sized sculptures.

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Giotto, Fortitude, Arena Chapel, Padua, 1305-06

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