Plato’s and Aristotle’s theories of mimesis, Horace’s Ars Poetica, and “Longinus”’s sublime have long dominated discussions of early modern aesthetics. Scholars have also sought to trace the influence of other, less explicitly didactic texts in defining the origin and value of art and the aesthetic experience in the Renaissance. Paul Barolsky, for example, has argued that Ovid’s Metamorphoses lies at the heart of Renaissance aesthetics, whether in the story of Pygmalion bringing art to life or, conversely, Medusa’s petrifaction of the living as competing metaphors for sculpture. Barolsky likewise sees Ovidian transformation behind Michelangelo’s “non finito” and in the depiction of Botticelli’s Chloris becoming Flora in the Primavera. Wendy Heller has explored the ways in which Monteverdi and Busenello’s groundbreaking opera L’incoronazione di Poppea draws upon and challenges Tacitus’ methods of historiography. More recently, Sarah Blake McHam has argued for the pervasive influence of Pliny’s Natural History and its emphasis on life-like “naturalism” from Petrarch to Caravaggio and Poussin.
Building on these and other studies that move beyond questions of classical influence on the subject matter of Renaissance texts, this panel seeks papers that explore the strategies through which visual artists and musicians draw on classical aesthetics and the extent to which these hidden roots underlie Renaissance theory and practice.
The Society is committed to creating a congenial and collaborative forum for the infusion of new ideas into classics and early modern studies, and hence welcomes abstracts that are exploratory in nature as well as abstracts of latter-stage research.
Abstracts of no more than 150 words and a short CV of no more than 300 words should be sent as separate email attachments to [email protected] (see the RSA’s abstract guidelines and CV guidelines and models). The abstracts will be judged anonymously: please do not identify yourself in any way on the abstract page. Proposals must be received by August 1, 2019.
Please include in the body of the email:
-your name, affiliation, email address
-your paper title (15-word maximum)