"E cosi di questa ponderatione si farà un libro particolare": Poetics of Balance in the Italian Renaissance

Research Seminar

  • Event canceled, new date to be defined!
  • Date: Mar 16, 2020
  • Time: 11:00 - 13:00
  • Speaker: Etienne Jollet
  • Location: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
  • Contact: freiberg@biblhertz.it
"E cosi di questa ponderatione si farà un libro particolare": Poetics of Balance in the Italian Renaissance
Leonardo da Vinci never wrote the book of ponderazione, but his evocation reminds us of how important the question of balance and weight in Italian Renaissance art has been: a physical paradigm intermingled with the better-known geometrical one.

Leonardo da Vinci never wrote the book of ponderazione he mentions, but he wrote a lot about the topic. It constitutes a clearer manifestation of a whole wave of interests in the visual rendering of weight during the Italian Renaissance. It is part of a series of references in the visual arts—both in theory and practice—to the daily effects of gravity. It is also part of a new conception of verisimilitude, in which dignified movement is central. This paper will explore the way weight, balance, their fields of relevance (the figure, the work of art, the building), their opposites (lightness, unsteadiness), and their metaphorical uses in the economic, political, ethical spheres animated a paradigm active during the Italian Renaissance—a paradigm which warrants a comparison with better-established

Etienne Jollet is Professor of Early Modern Art History at the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. He works on painting and sculpture of the 17th and 18th centuries (Watteau, Chardin, Fragonard, gravity in 18th century painting, space in still lifes), art and power in painting (Jean and François Clouet) and sculpture (public monuments to the kings of France), methodology and historiography of art history (La Font de Saint-Yenne, Alois Riegl, Adrian Stokes).

Scientific organization: Charles Kang



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