Download The Figino, or On the Purpose of Painting: Art Theory in the by Ann Doyle-Anderson, Giancarlo Maiorino PDF

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By Ann Doyle-Anderson, Giancarlo Maiorino

Of the various treatises written in Italy through the Counter-Reformation, none is extra illustrative of the highbrow fermentation of the interval than Comanini's paintings at the objective of portray, Il Figino overo del superb della Pittura (1591). even though the significance of Il Figino has lengthy been well-known, the textual content has remained principally inaccessible to many students through the international. this primary entire English translation will make the paintings to be had to these readers for the 1st time.

In Il Figino, Comanini addresses the entire such a lot hotly debated aesthetic problems with the time, drawing on an array of classical, medieval and Renaissance assets, together with Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Mazzoni, Tasso and Paleotti. The editor and translator supply copious notes which make clear Comanini's aesthetic and theological references, in addition to a lucid creation that locations the problems and debates in context. Comanini's remarkable erudition makes his treatise a superb barometer of the kingdom of scholarship within the Counter-Reformation period. This translation is a long-overdue addition to the sector of Renaissance studies.

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Extra info for The Figino, or On the Purpose of Painting: Art Theory in the Late Renaissance

Example text

But unless I am mistaken, since there is not a single art that does not imitate to some extent, the image is the object of all of them. What does the bridlemaking art do but imitate as nearly as it can the idea of the bridle the master art shows it? Besides that, since voices are the outward signs of the passions of the soul, [252] doesn't anyone who speaks make an image of his thoughts with words ? Doesn't the orator describe, and doesn't he imitate with description? Doesn't the historian do the same?

Two animal skins are draped across the chest, one from a lion and the other from a ram; and the work ends here. What do you say, gentlemen? Don't you find this painting both skilful and appealing? Moreover, Arcimboldo has taken every head from life, since the emperor was accommodating enough [267] to let him see all these animals. Look at this masterful representation of man, and marvel. To represent the forehead, with which man sometimes feigns pain though he is happy and sometimes appears to love when he hates, Arcimboldo has chosen the fox, an extremely astute animal, and has placed it in the midst of all the other animals.

There are more examples. As you know, Martinengo, many Doctors of the Holy Church maintain that this angelic battle in the sky was real. If it was, even though the angels fought with invisible weapons, which were their wills, these weapons cannot be imitated by any means other than through resemblance to ours. Whoever wishes to represent this war must paint the angels armed. Besides, though one should not falsify the essential parts of a story - and this applies to the poet as well, if he wishes to remain within the limits of verisimilitude - the imitative arts may alter non-essentials.

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