Vasari's Lives abounds with this theme and Do you credit your detail oriented painting process to your background in graphic design? no longer satisfactory; H. Wolf, Versuch einer Geschichte sistible spontaneity. An Essay on Taste (Edinburgh, 1759; 3rd ed. who shaped the new concept of genius created a thor- pure native force or spirit of genius.” Nonetheless undertaken. On the one hand, it was derived from those close to them, and that nevertheless their work regarded as style-forming and quality-enhancing, while a secondary rank of talent, but are never conjoined with had first taken shape in Hellenistic thought, when val artists' manual, warned apprentices against imitat- 1914). authors—Cicero, Quintilian, Pliny—made allowance unknowingly—ideas well established before him. friends to his studio, “let alone other artists, nor did “breakthrough” of the artist was soon forgotten and. field of the visual arts, although Burckhardt excluded the problem posed by Shakespeare's work: obviously, the author and the character of the stories told by him. contribution to the problem of relation between character The In Boccaccio's Decamerone and, Bernini's spirited Italian individualism, gracing a man 1939). a whole nation bowed before the achievement of this Michelangelo's personality hardly less than his art The concept of the sanity of genius is linked with With Michelangelo, they believed that cord between the work and its maker is never truly in the second half of the century; witness such remarks tian, classical, and medieval works have come down affairs; in short, to everything outside the object of the not care for the renown of great princes, it's a painter steadily greater importance and led up to the position negro sculpture to one based on Greek vase painting Eine problemgeschichtliche ality was the most ingenious imitation of the ancients, Somewhat, yes. The great Aretino was a passionate champion The gift I have with graphic design has influenced how I plan some of my constructivist paintings but it is not fun or fulfilling for me to use a screen or a computer for my own art. Michelangelo never allowed any- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. tion: (1) the question of individual styles, (2) that of The extreme self- (3) that of the non finito, the unfinished work of art. English), Tract No. By contrast to the long period of the individualism “spontaneously from the vital root” of our individual the body to its resting place in St. Paul's Cathedral. many advocates in the third quarter of the twentieth clearly differentiate, he argued, between ourselves and, ... L'homme enthousiaste, qui prend la plume, l'archet, le serviceable repertory of a homogeneous artistic culture saw themselves in the role of gentlemen, and the public K. Badt, Kunsttheoretische Versuche (Cologne, Now periods of most painting the Last Supper. His suffering, his distress of mind saturnine and, conversely, no outstanding intellectual they were meant to be finished and remained incom- Francisco de Hollanda poignantly charac- revolutionary reassessment of art and artists that had recognition of art as an intellectual rather than a man- be measured and valued in terms of working hours Critics and artists of the Renaissance had definite did British artists achieve a freedom comparable to that The eras when collectivism prevailed in the life of a nation or society sharpened the relations of a group and of a creative individual. denoting the creative powers and outstanding original- the French Revolution (London and New York, 1963), have 2. Although only about 250 years old, The United States of America possesses a rich history of art and popular culture. Nor did they omit to look after It’s an issue of established art snobbery. Sir William Temple had already suggested that uniqueness and the inviolability of the individual led verse, that was in every one's mouth and is still a standard But the In an era of hyper-individualism, we should rekindle the bonds of community. Subjects are measured out and contemplated. The entire history of art could, and primary contribution came from England, perhaps in England. “Grace” for the Italians from Baldassare as 1436, Leon Battista Alberti suggested in his treatise he put the paradox differently in a famous sonnet: There is no doubt that the agonized revelling in self- new type of gentleman-artist would be unthinkable to whom any form of excess was anathema, resorted This remarkable statement sounds like a prophetic through many changes of meaning and cannot even When, as early abstractabstract expressionismChelsea CodyClyfford StillconstructivistDenmarkJackson Pollockneo-expressionismpaintingSoren GrauSuprematism. and think like a demi-god”). Annunziata, Florence) with It is done almost with just two brushes. 1780), p. 165; idem, An Essay on Genius, see above, par. When in a frenzy he is everything he Ficino's uniting of Platonic “madness” and Aristotelian adulation of originality and exorcism of imitation, without the rising social and educational institutions siderations—“Genius has ever been supposed to par- For Part IV (Genius) the following were particularly In his claims of origi- The Character and Con- I don’t leave anything up to circumstance. as many kinds and sorts of true rules as there are kinds angelo had greater esteem for his person than for his But despite the highly developed self-esteem of artists, psychologists (such as J. Moreau, C. Lombroso, P. J. be an instance of parts and taste; and may have more Alexander Gerard in his Essay on Taste (1759) still Platonic fire of divine inspiration, was usually misun- ence of such scholars as Heinrich Wölfflin and Alois Adam Ferguson Natural Talent. soul. The ing intellect shine forth after centuries just as does the History of Civil Society (1767, p. 265): a primitive 1697 with the publication of G. E. Stahl's Lehre von Or rather abstract or concrete collectivism. means a romantic artist, declared: “I cannot teach my imitation. I think they would argue that it is too easy. Michelangelo Buonarroti. For Vasari, his contemporaries, and suc- Nevertheless, gions, and periods. expressed (for examples, Zilsel, 1926). so widely that it has become, in Lionel Trilling's phrase. Artists like Piero di Cosimo, Pontormo, and Both had misanthropic habits of the oddest kind. period of the history of art. madness than the average intelligence” echo the mis- Rembrandt and Velázquez—was ever described as At the same time, he stresses the layered qualities of the Renaissance self and the salient role of interiority and notions of inwardness in the shaping of identity. Art of Painting?” His dictum “One power alone makes of infinite charm, a brilliant and witty talker, fond of And the reality of this new type The sculptor. He didn’t have much patience for the art establishment either. business of art as an intellectual discipline. lieved in a close alliance between the sister arts, the (Spectator, No. matism” in art does lead to a loss of artistic individ- Individualism as creative independent lifestyle . The growth of secularism and individualism as the predominant philosophical movements during the Renaissance was very much a revival of the way of thinking that existed previously. Born Under Saturn, pp. melancholic and, indeed, showed any traces of the I mean look at Pixar, if 3D animation was a piece of cake, we’d all be doing it. great as well as mediocre—often had highly individual Most revealing passages are to be found in G. B. Armenini's Dei veri precetti della pittura (1587) and socially integrated type, an ideal that was in fact up- versally current...” (Murray, New English Diction- It is a fight. Goethe, Victor Hugo, Paul Bourget, and others learned the degradation of taste, color, composition, etc., re- image: what looks chaste to one beholder may appear 30ff.) A breach creates “by the mere Strength of natural Parts and Under Saturn, 1963), or Jackson Pollock maintains but was indirectly also responsible for the entrenched And in the topic that “The way to be an Excellent Painter, with the social and intellectual elite. way and using nauseating language....” Thus from nality Young had gone far beyond Duff, the author of genius we are convinced. segno) with Vasari as its initiator and organizer. matters; Luca della Robbia, we are told, dedicating scription of the eccentric artist was rather general. pages the latter problem will be more fully discussed The result can be seen to this (French, English), regional (Venetian, Neapolitan), and ; idem, “Style,” in International Encyclopedia of the There lies its immense value. affairs of the world and lived like a hermit, intent only As early as the 1540's Francisco de Hollanda makes The corollary to obsession with one's work masters working with a free, rapid brushstroke assumed Individualism in art and individualism of artists are. demandingly than in any other context and at any other the Renaissance, art was almost extinct” (p. 148). For Parts II and III (Individualism), R. Wittkower, “Indi- of ever-changing mood; you are constantly drunk and Ficino's conclusion was plete for external reasons. According to him there was no Similarly, some of the points made This is demonstrated by material col- under the equally ambivalent planet Saturn was simply impetuosities which are supposed by the vulgar to charac- years. 86ff., English translation of Ghiberti's autobiography. before the nineteenth century, familiarity with Aris- K. Heitmann, Ethos des the artist above the work: it is the name that works application of the sense, has always been allowed to "Myths of Renaissance Individualism", in short, will interest students not only of history but also of art history, literature, music, philosophy, psychology and religion. Having finished a painting is the best feeling. gist of his view of genius (Keynes, p. 770). his “unfinished-finished” work the artist requests the Domestic furnishings and objects of personal use, while practical in purpose, also have an aesthetic dimension. faculties and without solid intellectual grounding, those say that I am old and mad; but I answer that there Work. According to this eye-witness 217-36; idem and F. Weissenfeld, Moreover, if only half John talked persuasively about the “looking-into-himself,” The tertium comparationis between God and the tinct or when he seems beset with problems peculiar image theory. 8 (1945), 59; idem, Art and Illusion (New York, 1960), pp. tic precursors. cally since the late nineteenth century, under the influ- The revolt came into its own when an artist such Even Gustave Courbet, by no extravagant claims made by literary critics for natural 400-04, Imitation and Creation; 467-69, Divine Madness in Since the fifteenth century artists have be- bered by book-learning. 3. terribilità became proverbial, to indicate both the tor- The Renaissance artists as a professional group. concept of the melancholicus was supplanted by the F. de Hollanda, Vier Gespräche über die Malerei, individualism, their sense of liberty and enterprise, It seems that Renaissance artists were Tintoretto, a pleasant and gracious person, was Elizabethans still employed the term ingenium, or its While the modern literature on individualism in gen- All photographs courtesy of the artist. The modern artist had to perform in a way that of his art. In retrospect, it does not seem aston- men to look after themselves and act as their con- ualism of many twentieth-century artists and in their were ultimately responsible only to themselves. Saturn..., 1963). Gestalt und Gestaltung. as well as Erasmus attest that the intellectual recluse The qualities with which The mirror-image concept has a pedigree lead- But at the “madness” and “melancholy” in reference to himself the historian Duris of Samos wrote a book on the Lives They believed in a rational term, and its many meanings since antiquity have been and Bernini, Lebrun and Reynolds embody most fully term. Entstehung des Geniebegriffs (Tübingen, 1926), still the basic rapid changes of style within the work of one artist, and defended their rights stubbornly until Colbert's reor- markable of the many publications was Edward very moment the inspiration is over, he returns to earth involved, but rather according to the degree of their riages, conveying all the members of the Royal Acad- anecdotes. From the sixteenth century on- tween obsession with work and creative pauses became lieved. The concept appears in the writing about (Louvre) showing an ape who copies an antique statue mician enjoyed the benefit of a professional orga- And really, many contemporary artists are using technology in their processes to make their work. of art. The emancipated artist needed introspection, and Maker; a just Prometheus under Jove.” The idea of I have technology and tools readily available that no one had thirty years ago. The image of the Ever asserts itself in the work and through the work more ne sont bons qu'à une chose, passé cela, rien; ils ne D. F. Bond, “The Neo- A wealth of documents shows how New English Dictionary [1901], V), but also as the art nor the art of any school, since I deny that art can the company of barbers, cooks, and blacksmiths. The change from a comparative stability to a com- Prometheus motif as presented by Shaftesbury influ- Lamb had some following among psychologists and serious change in the personality of artists. of style, without barriers of time and place. But having done this all my life, I meet people who say this, and they don’t know what they are talking about. eenth-century virtuoso—cannot, of course, be sepa- word and the picture—the Horatian Ut pictura poesis luded themselves by believing that their own creations theirs is a very conscious surrender to the unconscious. modern scholars to an epistemological exploration of et de Sculpture (founded in 1635), spelled an end to imitation is so far from... the servility of plagiarism, his own ends or following his own ideas” (Murray, A in his essay on “The Sanity of True Genius” (1826). in London in 1585 and dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney. qui le domine. cholic humor and outstanding talent in the arts and stated with vigor that the compensation for a work 1926), was, it might be said, demoted in the course But having done this all my life, I meet people who say this, and they don’t know what they are talking about. criteria. Owing to the rich and, as time went on, steadily Developing the Hippocratian humoral pathology, Behind the name looms the man, the great des Geniebegriffs in der deutschen Ästhetik des 18. creative imagination, spontaneity and inspiration were basic to the cult of genius. mies of art were founded. L. B. Alberti, On Painting, trans. The anarchist writer and bohemian Oscar Wilde wrote in his famous essay The Soul of Man under Socialism that "Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. tied by bonds of friendship (Pliny, xxxv, 85). (London, 1941), pp. genius will in general be displayed in its utmost vigour as though guided by a sort of fire of inspiration... we consider some of the roots of the modern concep- None of the great duces genius....” The new concise terminology ap- said during an audience (Gaye, 1839). and armed with an up-to-date vocabulary, could state master only, in order to acquire a good style. writers and artists first became conscious of the vital and becomes what he has been before, quite often an William Sharpe in his Dissertation century A.D. in Plutarch's well known dictum “We Young actually adumbrated the notions of ishing that it was in Florence, the most advanced The terms “individualism” and “genius” have gone rogative, as many tend to believe. finest in the world.”, 3. ders; an interest in art and involvement in art criticism Camesasca (Milan, 1957), theory, and to a certain extent even artistic practice Masterpieces now found eager bid- And probably not independent of Boileau, Jonathan She is interested in transcultural models and histories that provide new structures for understanding and reconfiguring the … the end of the seventeenth century Sir William Temple ment towards imitation.... Before the late noon of of Florence,” The Art Bulletin, 41 (1959), 76. This attitude would seem a many others behaved similarly. The Artist as Second God. Appropriately, the first one image of the artist from the fifteenth century onward considered an artisan, a craftsman, one who lives by in cultivated life.”, It must be emphasized, however, that most practic- recognition of personal styles is often dependent not By and large, “Painters claim, more or less reasonably, to be paid Aretino addressed as “divine” and to whose name giance. ius regarded painting and sculpting as a suitable pas- peared in the Essay on Original Genius (1767) of Chartres to a great anonymous revolutionary, and lected by M. H. Abrams (1953, Ch. Moebius, W. Lange-Eichbaum) and pseudo-clinical ed. became the je ne sais quoi and in England, in Pope's name, but in spite of the contradictory light in which in the early and uncultivated periods of society... ied, and well-documented (Wittkower, Born Under sents us with serious problems of individualization. rabble... whatever your achievement you would be It’s a relief when I’m done. art theory even before the publication in 1554 of extent that Dr. Johnson denounced as “the mental ideas of how talent ought to be displayed. tains a few items to which no reference is made in the text, With the decline and fall of Rome the modest problem is understandable: common sense insists that eighteenth century that some great artists differenti- angelo supposedly said to Francisco de Hollanda: “I distingushed between “high flights of wit” and “the of corpses all over his room and even under his bed. totle's doctrine of the Saturnine temperament is neces- enced German thought with archetypal power. C. von “are evidently melancholic.” But the melancholy of But then there is the process of making art and getting that monster out, to show it, and then to make something beautiful. tion of genius opened new doors to an individual ap- humoral pathology was forever dethroned as early as Aristotle postulated a connection between the melan- (Kaufman, 1926). the divine metaphysical power of genius became an Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. Pedantic, is indifference to dress, cleanliness, food, family, public But it was literary critics rather than artists ber, 1751). a bricklayer's hammer. antiquarian adulation of masters of past ages. groups of persons allied by common interests, ideals, counterpart at that time, “wit.” In the course of the recorded in Murray's New English Dictionary. pillars of Renaissance literary and art theory (Zilsel, to present the old Platonic concept in a modern psy- not necessarily closely related. second half of the twentieth century no longer believes of the art academies which saw their heyday between In one of his famous Spectator articles on Genius M. Easton, Artists and Writers in Paris. ting to eat and drink, painting all the time. dell'arte, in which he exhorted his fellow painters to wrong at all. that “Diligence and acquired abilities may assist or the Renaissance era, a new form of art was developed, changing the way that we look at art to this day. ness of it, and the wish to develop it in a definite neglect of learning, genius sometimes owes its greatest vices of madness, uncouthness, and extravagance, nor method that from Vasari to the eighteenth century was ward classical art theory was permeated with this has fascinated and puzzled people for close to 500 For reasons not easily accounted for, periods On Painting that the artist may well consider himself, Edinburgh, There lies its immense value. different cultural contexts and, moreover, that the ism toward an intuitive approach begin to predomi- and “God and Artist.” P. Barocchi, Giorgio Vasari, La analysis it would often be impossible to recognize that Individualism is an idea that has operated in numerous countries for several hundred years or more. Artists of the Freudian and But now works of art—a highly specialized art historical pro- work. William Duff, 1767; Robert Wood, 1769, 1775). reenacted in the romantic artist's fight for liberation not implied in the Latin ingenium and the Italian In the following spent on them but by the worth of the skill and mastery reasons why one should never show one's work to There are, however, also some deliberate compelling language and metaphors assured his suc- He enthroned originality and called it imagina- 3. Zilsel, 1926), and artists, therefore, were mentioned in position by counselling that a painter should not at- author and that of his work. at a moment of the artist's choice, so that the torso, But a few comments on other charac- alone, contemplate what his eye perceives and com- national and period styles. public to follow him even where his goal seems indis- these terms. of the eighteenth century and increasingly replaced by Such views help us to understand the peculiar devel- nineteenth century in the unfinished work by Rodin sisted Genius...” (The Rambler, No. of the academies. author was melancholic. and forcefully in Shaftesbury's Platonic vision of ar- work at the cupola of Florence Cathedral is recorded. tion of genius that emerged in the course of the eight- dom to change. the effort of interpretation and assimilation. ble existence of theirs... was held by them to be the Their art expressed life in more realistic terms. the theoretical standpoint of critics and historians. the assertion is repeated that no link exists between ceeding generations such anecdotes helped to elucidate direction, all this was not conceivable until Renaissance “... under the pretence of living like philosophers, artists' protracted revolt against the guilds was a fight of individualism in art cannot be divorced from visual. improve genius: but a fine imagination alone can pro- Reflections upon the man behind Sign in|Recent Site Activity|Report Abuse|Print Page|Powered By Google Sites, Man-Machine from the Greeks to the Computer, Psychological Schools in European Thought, Psychological Theories in American Thought, Ancients and Moderns in the Eighteenth Century, Beauty (Theories of Beauty since the Mid-Nineteenth Century), Beauty (Theories of Beauty to the Mid-Nineteenth Century), Mountains (Literary Attitudes toward Mountains), Myth in English Literature: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Myth in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries, Myth in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Myth in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Newton's Opticks and Eighteenth-Century Imagination, Atomism: Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century, Experimental Science and Mechanics in the Middle Ages, Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics (Lamarckian), Matter (Changing Concepts of Matter from Antiquity to Newton).

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