Tag Archives: Gothic Arts

Conference: Gothic Arts: An Interdisciplinary Symposium (Philadelphia, 23-24/03/2018)

gothic artGothic Arts: An Interdisciplinary Symposium

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion
Van Pelt Library
University of Pennsylvania

March 23rd-24th, 2018

Organizers
Mary Caldwell, Department of Music
Sarah M. Guérin, Department of the History of Art
Ada Kuskowski, Department of History

In a passage from Thomas Aquinas’s treatise on good governance, a text written for the Cypriot king around 1267, the angelic doctor wrote: “Art is the imitation of nature. Works of art are successful to the extent that they achieve a likeness of nature.” This passage would seem to be the perfect explanation for the exceptionally life-like Adam sculpted for the south transept at the Parisian Notre-Dame, completed a handful of years earlier and possibly seen by Thomas before he left Paris for his Italian sojourn. However, by “ars” Aquinas meant not our “fine arts,” but technique and, even more broadly, human endeavor. The passage comes not from a discussion of the visual arts, but from a justification of benign kingship as opposed to democracy—the former being more akin to nature.

Continue reading

Advertisements