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Inventing Rubens - Art History

Inventing…. & Rubens…..
Definition of invent – (inventing, invention)
1: to produce (something, such as a useful device or
process) for the first time through the use of the
imagination or of ingenious thinking and
2: to devise by thinking, to FABRICATE.
To some painters the imitation (mimesis) of the antique
statues has been extremely useful, and to others
pernicious, even to the ruin of their art. I conclude,
however, that in order to attain the highest perfection in
painting it is necessary to understand the antiques, nay, to
be so thoroughly possessed of this knowledge that it may
diffuse itself everywhere (What?) Yet it must be judiciously
applied (judgment), and so that it may not in the least
smell of the stone (statuino.) For several ignorant
painters, and even some who are skillful, make no
distinction between the matter and the form, the stone and
the figure, the necessity of using the block, and the art of
Theories of Italian 17th c. Art.
Everyone agreed that painting depends on the imitation of -------- and ----------.
Painting is made up of 3 parts -------, design, and color.
Agucchi thinks that imitation also includes imitating “national” schools,
like ------- and ------, combined in a synthetic and selective manner.
Boschini thinks that invention involves, not just knowledge, but---------.
Marino thinks that all artists are inspired by other works, sometimes to
translate, sometimes ----- and often ------.
Glycon and Rubens, Farnese
Invention, IMITATION or
Caravaggio, Deposition, 1605
What does it mean to say I invented.. In the
17/18th c. painting?
The Canon and Copying.
Glykon, Farnese Hercules, 4th c.
The Canon?
What is a canon? Of what was it
constituted for 17th c. painters?
What were the Canonical objects
Nature as we experience it, an idea
of Nature, and ideal of Nature?
Is there a system for copying?
Where does it derive from?
What authority does this copying
have ? i.e. why should we.
Corrupted Bodies? See Rembrandt.
Whether it is that our groveling genius will not permit us to soar to those
heights which the ancients attained by their heroic sense and superior parts;
or that we are wrapped up in the darkness that overclouded our fathers; or
that it is the will of God, because we have neglected to amend our former
errors, that we should fall from them into worse; or that the world growing
old, our minds grow with it irrecoverably weak; or, in fine, that nature
herself furnished the human body, in those early ages, when it was nearer
its origin and perfection, with everything that could make it a perfect
model; but now being decayed and corrupted by a succession of so many
ages, vices and accidents has lost its efficacy, and only scatters those
perfections among many (problem of ideal), which it used formerly to
bestow upon one. In this manner, the human stature may be proved from
many authors to have gradually decreased.
Muller, Rubens and Imitation:
The Baroque Paradox
The Return to Nature
Decadence in Nature and Form: How to correct?
Bodies not perfect, statues not alive.
Cognitive Capacities: Imagination, Memory, Judgment.
Mimesis: Imitation of Nature – Pursuit of Form and Beauty
Male cubic form- geometry
Female beauty - curved
Live models in classical poses.
Correcting Nature.
Imitation of Art – Pursuit of Subjective Style
Translatio – Titian rape of Europa. (Memory)
Imitatio – Hands on Raphael Portrait of Castiglione. (Judgment.)
Aemulatio – Correggio and tenderness in color. (Imagination or Fantasia)
Analysis: Mimesis as its approaches the
Idea della Bellezza (Ideal of Beauty.)
Geometries as virtues,
overcoming time.
H. Goltzius and the Smell of Stone: Hercules
Before and After Italy.
On the Imitation of Ancient
The New Canon and Copying: Titian and Rubens,
Abduction of Europa.
Muller and Hyman
Rubens constructed his theory of artistic imitation so that
it intersected and layered in building-block fashion the
various levels of discourse concerning the problem. A
foundation was laid in natural philosophy, the structure of
history placed next, then the polemics of imitation
developed during the Renaissance, and finally the state of
the art of painting around 1600, which served as the
keystone on which the other issues rested.
It is a familiar notion that within webs of quotation, artists
staged relationships - artistic, professional, and personal with other artworks and artists and, in so doing, staked
certain claims for themselves, their patrons, and their
production. They engineered their own reception.” What
happened when intertextual relationships stretched across the
Atlantic, or across any other "global" distance? Here
signatures have served as a powerful source to probe
painterly aspiration and identity, and the imperial distances
on which these terms depended.