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The Idea of Europe

Catriona Seth
Rotraud von Kulessa

27. The Rape of Europa

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1Until 1736, Gabriel Coyer (1707–1782), was a Jesuit. He then became a tutor and private secretary as well as a man of letters in his own right. His ideas are often original and audacious. He was on the side of the ‘philosophes’ in many great Enlightenment debates, to the extent that Voltaire said of him: ‘He is one of our brothers’. He visited Italy in 1763–1764 and Holland in 1769.i

Venice, June 12th 1764

2You have seen the rape of Europa everywhere. Paolo Veronese also painted it; but what art in his grouping of the figures, what shades of colours, what superiority! Never was the effect so striking, so beautiful. The Bull is licking the feet of the ravished Beauty. What do you think of this pleasing idea? The Palazzo of San Marco owns this treasure.

3Gabriel Coyer, Voyage Through Italy and Holland (1775).

Read the free text in the original language (1775 edition):​ark:/12148/​bpt6k103467z

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