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Combat of Love and Chastity Painting by Pietro Perugino

Combat of Love and Chastity Painting by Pietro Perugino


The title of the painting above is Combat of Love and Chastity and the artists name is Pietro Perugino. It was painted in the year 1503. The entire painting portrays a verge of chaos, killing of children and totally confused creatures that resemble human beings.

Description of the Painting

Let’s separate the painting into three equal vertical parts A, B and C for easy description. The left hand side of the painting (part A) has a lot of activities taking place, that looks like fighting and killing is taking place. From the far left of this part, three hills can be seen at a distant overlapping each other and escarpments between them. The fore ground looks a bit flat although with minor depressions at the middle ground. There are many trees that can be seen from the far background but the number reduces towards the fore ground. However, there is one tree at the foreground of this part that has hosted a bird, although the actual species of the tree cannot be identified. The creatures have scattered at the middle ground but most of the activities seems to be taking place at the foreground. The creatures are mixed up of males, females and children.

One creature that looks like a female is sitting helplessly with three children around it and one child lying down. It seems to be guarding against being pierced with a spear by one of the attackers as the one is busy piercing a baby while holding its head. The weather seems to be calm and its evening time as evidenced by the setting sun. The attackers are creatures that have covered their bodies while the ones being attacked are naked. For more detailed description, one may read an essay available at

Part B

It is the middle part of the painting with similar activities as part A. The top, left hand side of this part is the sky where there is a creature appearing to be holding something resembling a whisker. The creature is naked, like the ones being attacked and appears to be descending from the sky. The background of this part also has scattered trees and the two overlapping mountains can be seen at the far background. Still at the background, there are two creatures that look like human beings running away maybe from the deadly attacks. At the middle ground there are several types of creatures, some resemble human beings who are standing while holding weapons and others are bird-like creatures. The concentration of the attackers at the foreground I high while holding all sorts of weapons such as spears, whips, machetes, shield and they are in clothes.

Also towards the foreground is a tall tree and a snake can be seen on its top. The snake has opened its mouth facing downwards and it seems to be aggrieved by the fighting parties. There are two babies, one in sitting down posture and the other one lying doing, most likely dead. A closer look of the scenario reveals a possibility that these two babies belong to the female creature in section A. At the front foreground is a cross, most likely signifying a tomb, which most likely has resulted from the fighting. Like part A, the weather in this part seems calm at evening hours as described by the colors used. The event seems to be taking place at an isolated place far from residential area. The artist has used the space adequately with the major center of interest being to take life of innocent babies. The impression of the mood in this painting is sympathizing showing sorrow and trying to defend their lives.

Part C

It is the part at the right hand side of the painting. Like the other two parts, Part C has trees from the background to the foreground. However, the terrain in this part is sloppy hence hiding the background. The slope seems to have resulted from agents of soil erosion as evidenced by the hanging rocks, trenches and the almost falling trees. In the trenches there are some paintings of human beings that seem to be hiding of being placed there by the enemy. The reason why they seem to be attacked creatures is because they have not covered their bodies and some that are on top of the hill slope are lying possibly dead. Like in the other sections, the fighting here is at par where, now even mature beings are been killed in front of their babies.

Although the background is rugged, there is unseen part behind the hill, where may be more dead bodies are hidden. There is a general mood of sadness in the entire painting, fear, inhumanity and ambush. Although the weather seems to be calm, the artist has used dull colors to show that sun is setting symbolizing end of the day’s activities. Shape defines the objects in space and is described by height and width. In the piece of art above, the artist has emphasized on height to resemble a real human being.