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  • ‘Ingenuity’ and Artists’ Ways of Knowing

    Claire Farago

    Chapter from the book: Black C. & Álvarez M. 2019. Renaissance Futurities: Science, Art, Invention.


    This chapter, written by Claire Farago, examines the history of the term ingegno since its first modern appearance in the Italian literature on the visual and spatial arts circa 1400. It develops close comparative readings of primary texts by Cennino Cennini, Leonardo da Vinci, Giorgio Vasari, and others indebted to Aristotle’s and Cicero’s accounts of ingenium as a deliberative process. It also considers a competing account of ingegno derived from the classical idea of divine inspiration originating in the philosophy of Plato prevalent in sources close to Michelangelo. The analysis opens up future lines of inquiry regarding the truth claims of sacred Christian images and the relevance of studying the visual arts in relationship to other fields such as mechanical engineering that extol the maker’s ingenuity.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Farago, C. 2019. ‘Ingenuity’ and Artists’ Ways of Knowing. In: Black C. & Álvarez M (eds.), Renaissance Futurities. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.79.i

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    Published on Oct. 15, 2019