Gæsteforelæsning på Det Kongelige Bibliotek
Grace and Labour in the Arts of the Italian Renaissance
ved Dr. Ita Mac Carthy, University of Birmingham
Foredraget vil blive efterfulgt af en fremvisning af et udvalg af originaludgaver af de i foredraget omtalte værker af bl.a. Castiglione, Colonna, Vasari og Dolce.
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Foredraget holdes på engelsk.
Grace flourishes in the interconnections – sometimes amicable, sometimes conflictual – that characterise the literature and visual arts of the Italian Renaissance. This paper will trace such interconnections in the work of four major writers and artists of the period – Baldessar Castiglione, Raphael, Michelangelo and Vittoria Colonna and, from the perspective their work offers, analyse the shifting relationship in the period between the notions of grace and labour. For Castiglione and Raphael grace is a classically-inspired nonchalance, a certain ease and confidence that should accompany everything the ideal Renaissance citizen says and does. It is the art of concealing labour, of coaxing the public into thinking that what they see springs from nature not nurture. For Michelangelo and his close friend Vittoria Colonna, by contrast, one achieves grace by revealing -- not concealing -- the hard work that goes into art. This grace resists humanist connotations, criticises courtly abuses of the term and promotes a more Christian vision of the artist as the receiver rather than the giver of what is essentially God’s gift. Such diverging interpretations bear witness to the unfailing eloquence with which the Renaissance keyword 'grace' comes to embody the tastes and aspirations, friendships and quarrels of its time.