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The Paragone debate – Painting and Sculpture in the Renaissance

By on Mar 9, 2021 in History of ideas, Painting, Philosophy, Sculpture | 0 comments

«Ut pictura poesis: erit si proprius stes Te capiat magis, et quaedam, si longius abstes»   Let the poem be like a picture: there are those who captivate you more when you are closer and those who captivate you when you are further away. Horace, Ars Poetica   In the Renaissance, the comparison of arts -known as the so-called Paragone- constituted an important tool for socio-cultural valorisation and inclusion within the liberal disciplines (Fig. 1), which included grammar, rhetoric, and logic (the trivium) and geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy (the quadrivium). The most important of these comparisons, known as ut pictura poesis, first appeared in Horace’s Ars Poetica and aimed at analysing which art was more suitable for imitating nature: painting or poetry. Scholars would use Horace’s argument to establish a hierarchy among artistic disciplines. In doing...

Notes on Alberto Giacometti

By on Jan 28, 2018 in Sculpture | 0 comments

…It was on the second day in the month of Adar in the year 5340 of Creation (A.D. 1580) that the momentous event took place. At four in the morning, the three made their way out of the city to the river Moldau. There, on the clay bank of the river, they moulded the figure of a man three ells in length. They fashioned for him, hands and feet and a head, and drew his features in clear human relief…                                                                                                             The Golem of Prague, Rabbi Yehuda Loew The slender silhouettes created by Alberto Giacometti are a compelling recreation of a primitive cosmogony and perhaps an interrogation of our place within its realms. The totemic figures seem to emanate from the seminal magma as if lava outpourings had instantly chilled at the contact with air. These golems are thus trapped in various...