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The Aesthetics of Grace

Philosophy, Art, and Nature

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Corrado Federici

In The Aesthetics of Grace: Philosophy, Art, and Nature, Raffaele Milani traces the fascinating history of the idea of ‘grace’ from ancient times to the 1700s. Although this term has been displaced by other concepts with the advent of modernism and postmodernism, the complex ideas related to the notion of ‘grace’ remain an important aesthetic category, and Milani presents an impressive panorama of reflections on and interpretations of the subject. The subtitle of the work indicates the broad scope of a study that recounts the origins of the term in Latin gratias (favor, regard, or gift), corresponding to the Greek Kharites (givers of beauty and charm). The volume then goes on to examine the Middle Ages, when the concept acquires a more specifically religious meaning (divine mercy, thanks), the Renaissance, when the terms ‘gracefulness’ and ‘elegance’ come to dominate in the treatises of the time, and the Ages of Romanticism and Neoclassicism, with their particular treatment of the topic. In the process, Milani meditates on the visual representations of these multiple meanings in the form of second-century frescoes, fifteenth-century paintings by Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Da Vinci, Mantegna, Correggio, and Carracci, seventeenth-century canvases by Poussin and sculptures by Bernini, and eighteenth-century sculptures by Antonio Canova and paintings by Fragonard. This engaging work weaves with skill and subtlety philosophical, theological, and artistic ideas into a stimulating tapestry.

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abrosyne, 81 Achilles, 93, 112 Adam and Eve, 16 Addison, Joseph, 27 Adonis, 88, 122 Aeschylus, ix, 30, 75, 87, 95 Agamemnon, ix, 76 Oresteia, 75 The Eumenides, 87 Aesthetics, 10, 13, 15, 25, 34–35, 38, 43, 46, 54–55, 73, 79, 90, 113, 128, 142, 146–47, 149, 159, 161, 169 Agamben, Giorgio, 86 Agamemnon, ix, 76 agape, 117, 24 Agoracritus, 84 Agostino di Duccio, 151 Agrippa, Marcus Vipsanius, 170 aidos, viii, 80, 87 Alain de Lille, 127 Anticlaudianus, 127 Alberti, Leon Battista, 46, 72, 150, 153 Albertus Magnus, 100, 107 On the Enclosed Garden, 107 Praise of the Blessed Virgin, 100 alethea, 169 Alexander the Great, 57 allegory, 69, 168 al-Rashid, Harun, 128 The Thousand and One Nights, 128 amor fati, 23 anamorphosis, 170 ananke, 57 Anchises, 92 Andromeda, 154 anmut, 12, 146 Antinoös, vii, 143 Apelles, ix Aphrodite, 1, 9, 24, 80, 81, 85, 88, 90–93, 95–96, 116, 129 Apocalypse, 50, 98, 168 Apollo, 2–5, 80–81, 85–86, 89– 92, 109–10, 116 Appiani, Andrea, 162 archetype, 12, 104, 168 Arcadia, viii, 87, 89, 110, 121 Ariosto, Ludovico, Dialogo della pittura intitolato Aretino, 73 Aristotle, 7, 130, 158–59 convenientia, 7 Metaphysics, 159 Nichomachean Ethics, 130 Armenini, Giovanni Battista, 73 De’ veri precetti della pittura, 73 Artemis, 80, 109 ars magnetica, 171 Assunto, Rosario, x, 11, 24–27, 101, 162 Athena, 75, 80, 87, 93, 109 Augustine of Hippo, 8, 19–21, 49, 61, 69, 78, 111 De ordine, 78 Explanations...

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