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has commonly been understood as erotic, if not explicitly homo erotic. As the blouse of the model (it has been attributed as feminine garb specifically within other paintings such as boy playing lute and a number of other paintings, boy in this case perhaps clutches the fruit basket in order to halt the exposing of breast. Whilst most

openly state the erotic implication of the

paintings (cropping of particular ares would render them as same or similar to a number of soft-core porn from the 1920’s onwards the sex of this model has come into constant contention. Is it: boy, man, male? Is it girl, woman, female or is the figure lowly: the Vasetto, castrati? Similarly styled self-portraits of Caravaggio “Sick Bacchus� or Bacchus himself, always render the object of desire typically as gender non-conforming - even by standards of the age. Reasons for contesting attributed sex in these instances comes via the manner in which the figure or model is both ornamented and openly eroticised.

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Caravaggio: The Pleasure/Pain principle  

Caravaggio: The Pleasure/Pain principle  

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