The influences of classical art on early Quattrocento painting have generally been sought out among those painters whom tradition has defined as «Renaissance» artists. The focal point for all such research has become especially Masaccio. An artist like Gentile da Fabriano, because he has been frequently categorized as «Gothic», is excluded from such considerations.
An appropriate examination of Gentile’s work, the Adoration of the Magi, shows that the artist should be in some manner ranked among those painters who saw in classical antiquity a source of inspiration.
Vincenzo Catena: The Representation of a Musician from the Year 1529
A stylistic analysis of one of the woodcuts illustrating the treatise on music theory by L. Fogliano leads to the discovery of its author, Vincenzo Catena. From the publication date of the treatise on music we get as well the date of the origin of the woodcut, that is 1529, two years before the master’s death. By this precise location in time this work is an important ex-ample of the later style of the Venetian master. Aside from its originality stylistically the woodcut by Catena is convincing proof of the close link of the artist with Venetian humanistic circles.
This iconographic study deals mainly with the changes and elaboration of the symbol of the sphere in Renaissance times. Broadening, but with reservations, Erwin Panofsky’s opinions on the picture in the Louvre, for the author the main symbolism in Titian’s allegory of love is that of amor mundus, of pure and noble love, as typified in the world of marital love.
It is thus mundus amoris which is an opposition to the medieval concept of the contemptus mundi – the disdain of worldly things. The coherence of the pure world of the marital virtues is shown by means of an ingenious composition of forms, depicting at the same time an internal coherence of meanings. Marital mundus amoris appears as amor mundus.
Allegorical Representations of America from the Veneto Area in the 1500s and 1600s
The age of geographical discoveries and of the rise of the great colonial empires did not bring the Venetian Republic into competition with the seafaring nations which came to subject to their dominion one area or other of the vast territories of the New World. More than enough reasons desuaded a small state like Venice from embracing any illusions of expanding across the Atlantic, in slow but inexorable decline as it was from its time-honored position of international prestige. However, in spite of the definitely marginal, though not irrelevant, position the concept of America had in the Venetian culture of the 1500s and 1600s, it is not unreasonable to ask if this culture itself had produced, or at least known and accepted some form or other of iconological and iconographic transcription of this concept and what their nature and ideological significance might be. This present work aims at finding an answer to this question.
D’Annunzio and «La peinture anglaise». One Aspect of the Young Poet’s Art Criticism
On the basis of the sources the author considers the use and composition of English paint-ing which Gabriele D’Annunzio claimed a familiarity with and elegantly flashed about in grand style in his works in the 1880s, but which must have been hard for him both because of his insufficient knowledge of the language and by the lack of any direct contact with the paintings. Ready as he was to latch onto the latest innovations, D’Annunzio posed as the most up-to-date interpreter of cultural events. The present work analyzes the poet’s approach to the figurative arts.
What Kind of Melancholy?
Analyzing the psychological concept of melancholy, the author draws on vast visual ma-terial, from representations in ancient art, through modern art to movies and theatre. On the conceptual level the author gives two contrasting definitions of melancholy, that of Cesare Ripa on the one hand, and that of Sigmund Freud on the other, centuries apart from each other, in order to stimulate by such contrast an immediate response, valid for considerations on radically different visualisations of the concept for different ages, backgrounds and means of expression.
Frank Lloyd Wright. The «Great Spirit» of Space
The author’s consideration of the concept of space in Wright, includes a discussion of earlier commentary on this subject. Based on F. Lloyd Wright’s writings and especially his Testament, the article analyzes the concept of space, which was for Wright the basis of any architecture. The author feels that the most authentic key to interpretation is to be had in the conjunction of Philosophy with Religion with respect to which poetry is a means rather than an end. The architect comes to be the prophet of a society to come and architecture a religion that establishes the laws of relationship between man and the reality surrounding him.
From Adorno’s Aesthetics: Guidelines for Art Criticism
This article concretely exemplifies and broadly develops several of Adorno’s ideas on aes-thetics, brought out in the conclusions of the article by this same author published in the first issue of Artibus et Historiae, where he treated several general problems of a possible sociology of the figurative arts, trying to outline the key points. The present essay does not claim to give an «alternative» proposal for interpretation of the visual arts nor to be an essay specifically on Adorno’s aesthetics. The author rather asks the question whether it is right to make merely methodological use of Adorno, and chooses him rather to give an example of a certain application of sociology to considerations on art.
Sydney Freedberg is generally recognized as one of the most distinguished art histori-ans of his generation. Some preliminary observations are here made concerning the signifi-cance of his achievement. His work is by implication a devastating critique of those «art his-tories» which talk about politics, society, religion, philosophy, poetry, theology, psychology, economics, unwittingly forgetting art itself, ignoring its value. In an age when art history has often descended to pedantry, treating art as a commodity, Freedberg’s work serves as a bea-con to those «amateurs» still committed to the beauty, dignity, and moral force of art.
The Film as Icon
The purpose of this work is to define the film icon from a semiotic point of view, that is, from the point of view of a general theory of signs or texts. In this perspective it is of great interest to define the iconic processes at the basis of the building up of images, as well as to define the semiotic characteristics of the icon, that is, to define those characteristics that make the image an icon sign.
The object of this investigation will thus be the basic character of the film icon, that is in other words what defines it as a substitute for reality with a high degree of similarity to it.
The practice of making films on art is already widespread, but the theory is unfortunately poor, and criticism comes up only sporadically. This state of things holds back — in Poland and abroad — the development of creativity and causes as well a constant underdevelopment of the distribution institutions. The stakes are high and this modest essay may show only cer-tain aspects of the problem. It would seem that in the twentieth century, as the imaginative evocativeness of the art book or the album of reproductions seems to wane, the film on art in its new forms of historical synthesis is able, with new force, to revive the memory of past cen-turies, and strengthen the feeling of responsibility for the human heritage.