Kristeller Reconsidered; Essays on His Life and Scholarship (Studies in Art & History)

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It was, however, a remarkably erudite enterprise, and it is interesting — particularly in the light of the other libraries, bibliographies and systems examined above — to observe quite how many and how varied are the references to artistic literature that he included. Handbooks for artists, books of models, treatises on practical and theoretical elements of painting, historical texts, and biographies are all found here. For works on anatomy the reader has to turn to the bibliography of books on medicine Lipen, , and for the cult of images and the use of images, to the theology bibliography — somewhat misleadingly entitled the Bibliotheca universalis Lipen, This results in part from a different understanding of the system of the arts, but also — and more significantly — from very different opinions concerning the nature of the books to be included.

Trichet du Fresne offered a list of thirty-five works; Scaramuccia forty. In the context of an inquiry concerning the place of art in bibliographical systems they are important for three main reasons. First, the two lists betray a wish to ensure a wide linguistic range. This last work was by no means an art-historical text, containing only thirty-four pages on art, its practice, its theory and its history, but it was the only text in English at that time incorporating some, albeit rudimentary, details on art Ogden, Ogden, ; Hurley , a.

Second, they reveal differing attitudes towards the organization of this type of list.

Trichet preferred a thematic grouping. The practical and theoretical texts are at the head of the list, followed by biographies, and historical and topographical works come at the end. Scaramuccia opted for a straightforward chronological order. This formal difference has been attributed to the fact that the two works were aimed at different readerships Sorensen, Studies of the sociology of readers and work on reading practice have tended to hesitate between two main positions Kalifa , Earlier work identified strong fault lines between what were sometimes identified as high and low reading cultures, savant and popular texts Mandrou, ; Bakhtine , [] More recently this distinction has been called into question and the focus placed on the way in which texts were read and appropriated rather than by whom Chartier, and [] Armenini offered two series of texts, one of the Libri che son connessi con la Pittura , where he enumerated Vitruvius, Serlio, Alberti, and Daniele Barbaro.

The other, longer list was of Libri necessarii al Pittore. Here are to be found works that could offer the artist inspiration or inventio , a selection of classical authors, sacred texts, contemporary literary texts. But he did not stop there. In a second list, this time incorporated into the main body of the text, he presented the names of a number of important authors, mainly from antiquity, but also some sacred, historical and literary texts.

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The first is of books on painting, drawing, and sculpture, the second of books on architecture. Thereupon follows a list entitled De libri servibili, necessarii ed utili ai pittori e scultori. Here, under a series of headings such as anatomy, costumes, capriccios, mythology, bible, ancient history are a number of important works. When Orlandi offered two different lists is it because he envisaged two distinct readerships, one of laymen and one of practitioners?

One striking fact does become clear after a careful examination of the bibliographies and more especially the bibliographical theories and bibliothecae : the books which Armenini, Orlandi, Lomazzo and Scaramuccia identified as essential reading for artists are never included alongside books on the visual arts in the general classification systems.

They do feature, but elsewhere — in the literature, history, science, or theology classes. We are left with the impression of two distinct bodies of texts — one aimed at laymen and the other at practitioners. The main classification systems do not seem to have sketched out the contours of an art world that could associate practical knowledge and historical or theoretical expertise and judgement. Which books were artists reading, and how were they reading them?


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If we are forced to concede that the artist did not correspond entirely to the image of a doctus artifex , we can still question the use made by the artist of the various titles quoted by Armenini, Scaramuccia, Lomazzo, Orlandi and others. Of equal significance, clearly, is to understand the importance of texts in academic teaching, and the weight that the academies accorded or not to their collections and libraries Pevsner, [] ; Boschloo, ; Goldstein, By dint of dividing and subdividing these classes he managed to create four hundred and sixty-one separate subdivisions.

The second division in the philosophy class was mathematics; the fourteenth and fifteenth subdivisions of mathematics were for music and musical instruments, the eighteenth was for painting, the nineteenth for sculpture and the twenty-second to twenty-fifth for architecture. Poetry occupied the sixth division. It was to undergo two significant modifications at the beginning of the eighteenth century, at the hands of booksellers and essentially for the purposes of sale catalogues that they were producing. Prosper Marchand modified the order of the classes, placing law before philosophy, and also split philosophy into two sections, philosophy and humaniores literae , thus separating poetry from the other arts Marchand, ; Berkvens-Stevelinck, 1 Marchand placed the books on the arts at the very end of the mathematics section, which was in turn the last section in the philosophy class.

Five years later, Gabriel Martin then renamed philosophy sciences et arts when preparing the Bibliotheca Bultelliana Martin, Within his third class there were four groups, namely philosophy, medicine, mathematics, and the arts.


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These last were in turn organized in seven divisions: the arts of memory; writing, printing, and hieroglyphics; painting, drawing, sculpture, and engraving; architecture; warfare; mechanical arts; gymnastics, equitation, and games. Music, however, was left in the mathematics class, and poetry was classed with literature. As had so often been the case in the past, this was a fragmented view of the literature on or relating to art. The lives of the artists were placed with other biographies at the end of history; the works of Ovid were to be found in poetry, Vincenzo Cartari in antiquities and Vesalius in medicine.

Certainly he had not left the system exactly as he had inherited it, but had made some important modifications. In the very first edition of his Manuel Brunet , , he presented a new version of the class sciences et arts. This was the system that Brunet followed until when he published the fourth edition.

Table of Contents: Kristeller reconsidered :

Here the groups have been abolished, and sciences et arts is composed of one continuous sequence of nine divisions Brunet, [] The fine arts as he defined them include drawing, painting, sculpture, engraving, architecture, and music. As late as , the reader who wished to find information on the biographies of artists had to turn to the biography section at the end of history Brunet, [] The same reader who wanted information on anatomical treatises used by artists needed to turn to the medical sciences section, and would find most of the books on iconology and emblems in the literature section.

This two-volume work offers a wide-ranging survey of the arts of painting, sculpture and engraving — architecture is excluded, as are music and poetry — organized in twenty-five chapters. Eight years later, Christian Friedrich Prange published a two-volume theoretical, practical and historical treatise on art Prange, ; Dilly, The twelfth chapter constituted a lengthy bibliography: seventy-seven pages containing over eight hundred references.

Here the reader finds works on sacred and profane history, mythology, emblems, numismatics, perspective, and science. A few years later, in Rome, Angelo Comolli published his four-volume architectural bibliography Comolli, ; Sorensen , In the third volume Comolli includes works that are relevant to architectural practice, on law, literature, perspective, mathematics, history, philosophy, music, medicine, astrology, and mechanics. It is only, as he admits himself, in the fourth and final volume that he actually discusses architectural books.

What is interesting in these works is their great modernity — their insistence on opening up the field of the arts to include mention of the allied or ancillary disciplines — combined with methods that are decidedly conservative. Denis organised a library into seven classes — theology, jurisprudence, philosophy, medicine, mathematics, history, and philology.

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Poetry is in the last-named class, while the other arts are all to be found in the fifth class — mathematics. Music however is placed at the end of the section on Acoustics, and painting and sculpture at the end of Optics. Almost two hundred and fifty years after Gesner, the visual arts are still subordinated to perspective and optics.

But, faithful to the sixteenth and seventeenth-century bibliothecae , he still consigned the lives of artists to the biography section in the history class, works on antiquities and antiquarianism to archaeology in the philology class , mythology and fables to literature, and anatomy to anthropology. In , Johann Samuel Ersch published the first volumes of his bibliography of German books from the mid-eighteenth century until his time Ersch, ; Sorensen, ; Hurley , a. The seventh part of this vast undertaking was devoted to the fine arts. Ersch offered a system of arts that was far wider than that presented by any of his predecessors: drawing, painting, engraving, sculpture, engraved stones, architecture, gardens, poetry, rhetoric and literature, and music.

Ersch also integrated into the body of artistic literature works that in earlier bibliographies had been assigned to other classes. Thus he included aesthetics, artistic biography, archaeology, perspective, travel accounts, and anatomy. In order to accommodate this wide range of subjects and genres, he applied a huge and highly intricate multi-branched classification system, multiplying the classes, the divisions, the sections, and the subsections, which he indicated by means of a complex annotation, employing numbers, parentheses, upper and lower case letters, single and double letters, and even Greek letters.

The major drawback of this bibliography becomes clear at a glance. Ersch opted for an octavo format: the small pages render it impossible to do justice to such a complicated classification with so many branches. The reader rapidly loses his way in what seems more like a labyrinth than a logical organization of art books. This entry briefly examines the major contributions of Paul Oskar Kristeller to the intellectual history of the Italian Renaissance.

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Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy Living Edition. Contents Search. Died : June 7, New York City. Living reference work entry First Online: 27 January How to cite. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Il ritorno dei classici nell-umanesimo: Studi in memoria di Gianvito Resta. Google Scholar.

Celenza, Christopher S.