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Monday, October 31, 2011

Giorgio Vasari Quincentennial

Preparations are well under way for the quincentennial of Giorgio Vasari's birth.  I am very excited for the shiny commemorative 10 euro coin.  Vasari is known for his contributions to artistic historiography -- he was one of the first to comment systematically on the pattern of classical greatness, medieval decline, and Renaissance renaissance in art (unfair though that assessment may be in some respects) and he ushered in a new period of artistic historiography.  He was also responsible for rebuilding architectural gems like the Uffizi Picture Gallery in Florence.  Yet as an artist, Vasari was a Mannerist, and Mannerism was itself often viewed in declinist terms thereafter -- as a reaction against the simple but perfect naturalism of the high Renaissance in favor of artifice, archness, 'manner', and sophistication.

Do we have something like this?  Traditions and counter-traditions of legal scholarship which evince opposed stylistic commitments?  Do we have periods deemed eras of ascendance, decline, and revival?  And in what aesthetic commitments does ascendance and decline consist?

Posted by Marc DeGirolami on October 31, 2011 at 05:11 PM | Permalink


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