The Beautiful and The Idea in 17th-Century Aesthetics In his renowned lecture on the Idea, which he delivered at the Academy of Saint Luke in 1664, Giovan Pietro Bellori asserts the superiority of ideal beauty against the slavish imitation of reality and the unbridled freedom of the imagination. However, an equally important, albeit lesser known, contributor to the formulation of this classicist aesthetic theory is Giovan Battista Agucchi, author of a Treatise on Painting that appeared in fragmentary form in 1646. In this work, Agucchi identifes beauty as the truest and highest aim of painting; he attributes to the artist the power to contemplate the Idea, and confers a profound cognitive value to this form of imitation. Finally, he ponders on aesthetic judgement, addressing the issue, which became increasingly more relevant in the 17th century, of the role of the connoisseur. Many of these themes would later be reelaborated, in a changed cultural context, by Bellori, who would define the co-ordinates of a strict classicism which centered on the selective paradigm of ideal beauty. Elisabetta Di Stefano proposes a comparative analysis of the two afore-mentioned texts which are reprinted in the appendices. Her study foregrounds the progressive ascent of the Idea from natural data to the perfection of beauty, a complex process that in the 18th century, through the theories of Batteux and Winckelmann, will lead to the birth of modern aesthetics under the banner of ideal beauty.

DI STEFANO E (2007). Bello e Idea nell’estetica del Seicento. AESTHETICA. PRE-PRINT, 79(79), 3-86.

Bello e Idea nell’estetica del Seicento

DI STEFANO, Elisabetta
2007-01-01

Abstract

The Beautiful and The Idea in 17th-Century Aesthetics In his renowned lecture on the Idea, which he delivered at the Academy of Saint Luke in 1664, Giovan Pietro Bellori asserts the superiority of ideal beauty against the slavish imitation of reality and the unbridled freedom of the imagination. However, an equally important, albeit lesser known, contributor to the formulation of this classicist aesthetic theory is Giovan Battista Agucchi, author of a Treatise on Painting that appeared in fragmentary form in 1646. In this work, Agucchi identifes beauty as the truest and highest aim of painting; he attributes to the artist the power to contemplate the Idea, and confers a profound cognitive value to this form of imitation. Finally, he ponders on aesthetic judgement, addressing the issue, which became increasingly more relevant in the 17th century, of the role of the connoisseur. Many of these themes would later be reelaborated, in a changed cultural context, by Bellori, who would define the co-ordinates of a strict classicism which centered on the selective paradigm of ideal beauty. Elisabetta Di Stefano proposes a comparative analysis of the two afore-mentioned texts which are reprinted in the appendices. Her study foregrounds the progressive ascent of the Idea from natural data to the perfection of beauty, a complex process that in the 18th century, through the theories of Batteux and Winckelmann, will lead to the birth of modern aesthetics under the banner of ideal beauty.
Settore M-FIL/04 - Estetica
www1.unipa.it/~estetica/download/DiStefano_BeI.pdf
DI STEFANO E (2007). Bello e Idea nell’estetica del Seicento. AESTHETICA. PRE-PRINT, 79(79), 3-86.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/15663
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