The Battle of Anghiari : of violence and virtue in the visual arts

Digressions around an engraving In June 1440, the great condottiere Niccolò Piccinino, then in the service of the Duke of Milan, learnt on his way back to Lombardy after having campaigned in Central Italy that the Florentines and their Allies were camping below the walls of Anghiari, a fortress on top of a hill; he…

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Napoléon : images de transfiguration, images de « démystification »

Autour des expositions Napoléon n’est plus et Napoléon ? Encore !  Au Musée de l’Armée, Paris, 2021 A l’occasion du bicentenaire de la mort de Napoléon, à qui sont consacrées plusieurs expositions, il n’est pas inintéressant de réfléchir à son image : comment elle a été construite de son vivant puis dans le siècle qui a suivi sa…

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Beeple : Of crypto-empires and pixel-men

It would be impossible not to discuss the NFT phenomenon now that Beeple’s Everdays – The First 5000 Days artwork was sold at Christie’s for 69.3 million dollars on March 11, 2021. What are so-called Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT)? The very definition of NFTs was hotly debated on occasion of that sale. An NFT is first…

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Triomphe d’un Chat et voie d’eau dans la nef municipale

Avril 2021, An I du Covid Le dessinateur, humoriste et homme de théâtre belge Philippe Geluck est l’inventeur d’un personnage prodigieux, Le Chat, qui apparaît en mars 1983 dans le quotidien Le Soir ; ce faisant, il conforte aussi un genre que l’on serait tenté d’appeler « comicosophique ». Au moyen d’une simple vignette, ou parfois – quoique…

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The Good and the True: paradigms of the Golden Age and the Ideal City

To find a coherent and systematic thought in the “western” tradition which relates the field of aesthetics with the field of politics, i.e. of the rules and conditions of human life in society, one should go back to Greece, and in particular to Plato and the neo-Platonists who established powerful links between aesthetics, metaphysics, and…

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The Politics of Representations

1 – The invention of the artificial perspective, a meeting space for world and idea. Light operates as the structuring element of ideality in Byzantine art; linear perspective will do the same for the Renaissance period, and will continue to do so with greater or lesser intensity until the dawn of the 20th century. The…

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L’art actif

C’est une société commercialisant de la bière qui désigne ou concrétise aujourd’hui l’un des chemins les plus prometteurs qui s’ouvrent à l’art de notre temps. L’installation inaugurée à la gare de Grand Central, au cœur de New York, est une proposition émanant du marketing de la marque Natural Light, une bière du groupe Anheuser-Bush au…

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The art of collecting art : a Keynesian “beauty contest game” ?

In his masterpiece, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936), John Maynard Keynes wrote the following: “Professional investment may be likened to those newspaper competitions in which the competitors have to pick out the six prettiest faces from a hundred photographs, the prize being awarded to the competitor whose choice most nearly corresponds…

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Banksy, the art of visual eloquence

Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, 30 May – 27 September 2020 It is expected, when one reads an article about an “iconic” artist, that his originality and exceptional contribution to the history of art will be one way or another acknowledged and celebrated. One interesting point about Banksy, the pseudonymous English street artist, is that we…

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