Individualism in Art and Artists: A Renaissance Problem Author(s): Rudolf Wittkower Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of the History

of Ideas, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1961), pp. 291-302 Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2708126 . Accessed: 09/07/2012 20:24
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for the one problemis primarily essentiallydifferent the other primarilya visual one. Behind the name looms the about whomwe know so much. and what traits did the public attributeto artistsviewed as * This paperwas presented of theInternational theFirstMeeting Society before Sept.and why the image of the individualist some phenomena artistarose and then mention. one hand.and in whose integrity appreciationof these works.much more briefly. Clearly. 1960. in art are not necessarily reciprocally artistsand individualism I therefore want to separate these two aspects and discuss firstat some length when." These somewhat hackneyed observationsare of importancefor of my subject because it appears that the problemsof individualism related. oftenwithoutbeing aware of it). we have to ask what traits of personalitydid artistsdevelop.Seneca reflected the sculptors people who veneratethe images of the gods but decry later Plutarch exclaimed: "We enjoy who make them. Withoutthe pedigreeor hardlybe worththe paper theseworkswould sometimes the signature they are drawn on. Even thoughthe work may lack individualquality one cannotargue that the public deceives itself. we hear-usually with a shrugof the shoulder-of a passing fashion.INDIVIDUALISM IN ART AND ARTISTS: A RENAISSANCE PROBLEM BY RUDOLF WITTKOWER * phenomyou of a present-day Let me startthis talk by reminding enon which many of us accept without much questioning. of individualism whichwe may associate withspecial problems The criteriato assess these two sides of the inquiry are of an a socioorder. ofIdeas. All this may be true. 1.a knowledgeof the artist'spersonality is more importantthan the visual evidence. on The very opposite also happened in history.since it evidentlyplaces the artistabove the work (of course. On the logical and psychological. of the public. the greatartist. in art.but it is also true that the joke on paper and the doodle hold our attention. University. they hold our attentionbecause we knowtheirauthorsare Picasso and Klee. Cambridge fortheHistory 291 . where. If explanationsare given. we believe.A joke on paper by Picasso.of whose genius man.foran we are convinced. A generation the workand despisethe maker.of of moneyinto worksof art.heldat Peterhouse.of the flight an infatuation and so forth. It is the name that worksthe magic. a doodle by Paul Klee are snatched up in the sales rooms for thousands of dollars.

We are told that. in one of Francesco Sacchetti's novelle. are not. It wasnotuntiltheXIVth century oftheextravathatthetheme gantbehavior of artists enters literature onceagain. .1 In orderto findout what artists thought about themselves and how the publicviewedthem.whatmight looklike individual and distinctive traits. Conevenwhere we versely. in any case at a late period. In theeyesof an eliteat least. werelooked as "queerfish. we have a literary tradition at our disposal. And somewhat lax morals.Die Legende vomKiinstler (Vienna.For Bocof caccioa painter was a manfulloffun.Before thewarErnst Kris and Otto Kurz2 published an illuminating collection of such legends which had currency in theFar East and in theWestand may easilybe misread as personal characteristics by the uninitiated. you build castlesin the air. high-spirited. in water "he livedon lupinssteeped whileengaged on hismainwork. us to arrive at weighty conclusions. and first exclusively in Italy. tempt 1 Lack of knowledge compels me to restrict remarks to the visual the following artsin thewestern world.you are permanently statement and arenotevenashamed Thisremarkable ofyourselves!" sounds likea prophetic but it shouldnot definition of thebohemian.or Apollodorus the "madman" becausehe often brokeup a finishedstatuebeingunableto reachtheidealhe had aimedat.whether at in someperiods thehistory of art one can detectindividualistic feanotoccurring at other in theworks tures periods ofartists. Kris and 0. Such sources theXVth century beginto flow onlyfrom on. cannot be surethat.artists traits withartists. 1934)." upon. Kurz." these and similarstoriesprove that the ancient Nevertheless. finds painter's wifeexclaiming: painters drunk whimsical. legends or literary topoi. and on the other hand. But a previous lack of this sortof literature does not necessarily mean that artistshad no individuality.to use a colloquial term. thathe might without bluntsatisfy at oncehishunger and his thirst inghis faculties by over-indulgence. therestof mankind (implicitly valuing the artist higher thanhis work).we have to relyon literary sources.in fact. Nor can ofthepainter we be certain thatthesingle-minded devotion to work Protogenes took on the form transmitted to us.In theDecameroneand theTuscannovelle oftheperiod theyappearmainly as the of entertaining perpetrators and burlesque practical jokes.292 RUDOLF WITTKOWER apartfrom. written in the late XIVth are all "You one a century. When Pliny tells us that the sculptor Kallimachoswas nicknamedthe "niggler" becauseof his over-zealous application to detail. we may or may not be dealingwithfactualbiographical material. and not burdened by too muchlearning. and superior to. 2 E. quiteshrewd.associatedcertainbehavioral world.

fore forthefollowing relevant particularly . a developed highly sign for by theelectfew.described of a greatmanyprofessional acteristics manin their and changeable ofunsettled mind. melancholic."His assessment of artistsfrom the odditiesand idiosyncrasies materialdescribing and helps to givesuband circumstantial on theRenaissance is vast dictum. give more not Michelofmanyartists. the spiritual it appears To the outsider of individualism.The essenceis contained a fragment: three linesofa sonnet thatremained 3 It is hardly was moreadvancedeven that Florence to emphasize necessary are thereartists Florentine thanthe restof Italy. one never should Rusticiexplained that to his studio. At the threshold necessary. listing in 1561-Cardanus. Tintoretto worked. current reflected surely ners.the opinions.Leaving The answer enceon creating and artistic it was the need forundisaside professional jealousies. thehallmark Solitude andsecrecy became angeloallowedno one-not eventhepope-to be nearhimwhilehe artists.three. developed lapsesinto withunpredictable work alternate tenseand concentrated inactivity. thatmade solitude turbed concentration talkedaboutthelooking-intooftheromantic age Goyapersuasively This attitudewouldseem a sure monologue. sometimes wouldset out Pontormo in contemplation. I need as Vasariinforms all day but standing lost in thought. demand specialconsideration as theself-centered intotheproballowsus an insight MorethanonceMichelangelo in the lems thatmovedhim to the core.sometimes and yet be staying there. "fickle. attithe artist's in the courseof the XVth century guildmonopoly to theregulated subjected Insteadofbeing changed. two hours an hour." examples. on the Last Supper A contemporary who saw Leonardoworking from dawnto duskwithout howhe stayed on thescaffolding describes all the to eat and drink. Similarly. stanceto Cardanus' which someobservations In support ofthisclaimI wantto submit at the artists among arising problems on personality light maythrow ofthe It wouldseemthatwiththebreaking timeoftheRenaissance. before Whythisinsistshowone'sworkto anybody in solitude? is not farto seek.Thenfortwo. putting or four dayshe wouldnottouchhis work time.RENAISSANCE ARTISTIC INDIVIDUALISM 293 matter if two hundred yearslater-to different It is an entirely the charin his De utilitate. as painters men. a day wrapped "without havingdoneanything to work and go awayin the evening us. be precise. himself. of a collective routine Periodsof mostinhabitscompatible withhis freedom. let aloneother wouldrarely admitfriends.notto speakof other countries. In fact.3 tudeto hiswork on his own and he was now often workshop.The sculptor it was finished. painting forgetting downhis brush. remarks.

" Again. the world-and suffer he reportsto Sebastiano del anxietiesand dreads. at the age of seventy-four friend: "You will say that I am old and mad (che io sia vecchio e pazo). Renaissance artists. he writesto a it my mad mood.294 RUDOLF WITTKOWER Non ha 1'habito intero Primaalcun.In actual fact. that Michelangelo was an exception.for I years often suffer great distressof mind and temper. Michelangelo'schoice of the words "madness" and "melancholy" leads us on and I shall discuss them in turn.c'ha l'estremo Dell'arteet dellavita nonecan have understanding Entire theimmensity Before he'snotexperienced Of artand life That experiencecan only be gained in isolation.But it would be wrongto believe. but I answerthat thereis no betterway of keepingsane and freefromanxietythan being mad. which we findin a numberof personality." At about the same period he put in a famoussonnet: the paradox differently e la maninconia La mia allegrez' E'1 mio ripososon questidisagi is myjoy Melancholy is myrest." As a man of fifty Piombo about a dinnerparty: "This gave me exceedinggreatpleaure." And fifteen later: "I live in a sordid way.as is oftendone." in a historicalcontextis of this terminology An early occurrence chronicleof to be found in Girolamo Borselli's late XVth-century .Alreadyas a youngman of twenty-two "Do not wonderif I have sometimeswrittenirritableletters.And isolationspells agony. Madness not in the clinical but in a broadersense as emotionalinstabilityor behavioral is attributedin Renaissance and post-Renaissance non-conformity sourcesto scoresof artists. regardingneitherlife nor honorsthe greatest hardshipsand innumerable that is.Oftentheyare called "bizarre" and "fantastic. is the red thread runningthroughmany of his letHis suffering he wroteto his father: ters. he has the traits of enhanced and to excess. Anddiscomfort The last quotations seem to leave no doubt that the agonized to an artistlike in self-reflection was a satisfying experience revelling Michelangelo. or shall we call since it drewme fortha little frommy melancholy.

for it is the fault of misfortune whichwill always torment me. In orderto give a cleareridea of this type of eccentricartist. habits of the oddest kind. The essentialcorBoth had misanthropic rectnessof Vasari's reportis borne out by a diary which Pontormo of a lonely. withreportsof the eccentric The cases of Piero di Cosimo and Pontormo stand out among many others. disposition I have quoted thisletterverbatim. who painted the most sensitiveand intensedevotionalpicturesat the end of the if ever there was one: he XVIth century. I have suffered and still endureevery and tribulations which labors many I to I am mind beingso troubled. that can swear besides myself. willnotsatisfy I am sending which I knowforcertain youthepicture And yet it has been born out of so because I am not pleased withit myself.Vasari in particular. My you day I was unable to consider well what I have done.Their approach distinctions with creative to workis characterized by franticactivityalternating their make-upby agonized introspection. But you will excuseme if I and my ill have not fulfilled your wishes. In spite of all this he died at the ripe age of eightyseven in 1615. because it could have been written himself. we must not forgetthat our general .introspective kept from1554-1556-a movingtestimony man.was tormented and frightful dreams.I am choosingthe less familiarcase of Federico Barocci.He was a hypochondriac by pains believed he had been poisoned in his youth. dividualized professional type. us with some of the important This briefsurveyhas familiarized in the personality of Renaissance artists."Here fantasticus abound translatedas "eccentric. at the momentthat in this respecttoo he was not an exception.but are too well known to need a lengthydiscussion.In 1573 he wroteto one of his patrons: you. The tenor of his lettersis that of an agonized eccentric.RENAISSANCE ARTISTIC INDIVIDUALISM 295 Bologna where the sculptorNiccolo dell'Arca is describedas "fanis perhapsbest tasticus (erat) et barbarusmoribus. pauses."Later sources. behaviorof artists. and their temperamental of an social behaviorby a cravingfor solitude and by eccentricities inbe able to talk of a to seem thus While we highly endlessvariety.On on abound withrethe sourcesfromthe XVIth century the contrary.and felt that he could work only a very few hourseveryday. wrapped up in his thoughtsand beset by morbid worriesfor his physicalwell-being. by Michelangelo suffice it to say As to Michelangelo'sclaim of being melancholic. theirpsychological endowment by a tendencyto melancholy. portsabout melancholyamong artists.

" as the Chaos of Melancholy whilethe clearS. had authoritatively postulated forartistic talentfrom theRenaisMelancholy becamethepassword said in the Anatomy sanceon. manyshadesof meaning. Barocci.. Of pace slow. perament Michelangelo's pazzia and maninconia werethuscloselyallied conditions whichFicinoin De vita triplici forthemanof genius. determined fashions traitsselected and by writers. the question arisesto whatextent weretheseartists themand wrote aboutthemdethemselves and thosewhoobserved of thought? To whatextent pendent on newor traditional patterns theindividualized as wellas the weremodesofbehavior. by usingthe wordpazzia to characterize his stateof mindrefers to his non-conformist obsessionsrather thanto thePlatonic"madness. givento fearful dreams. Moreover." frequency ofmen..delighted morein solitariness marks homomelancholicus of the showsmanyof the distinguishing raceofindividualistic artists..It is well knownthat Renaissance artists appropriated this condition of inspired frenzy to themselves..He described painful and terrible and circumspect. Michelangelo.. Aristotle had shown thatonlymenofmelancholic temwerecapable of 'manic'creativity. In addition. forit gave theirart the aura Plato had conceded to poetry..296 RUDOLF WITrKOWER pictureis derivedfromsuch markedindividualists as Leonardo. Timothy Bright's came close to the generally acOn Melancholy of 1586. . outofmeasure sad and fulloffear." interpretaconclude standsherefor tionof thesewords thatmelancholy might individualism. envious thelightand passionate. his reMichelangelo actions be divorced from and his thoughts cannot Platonicand Aristotelian in the age of the concepts whichweregivenwidecurrency It is truethatMichelangelo Renaissance. refusing This and obscurity. Pontormo.probably in a melancholic as "suspicious.silent. Parmigianino. Teresasimply decreed:Melancholy headedmystic "is morecomis thatall self-will monin ourdaythanit usedto be. studies. ceptedusage. in the XVIth century the term'melancholy' Although acquired in his detailedanalysis." Yet suchalmostnarcissistic on pazzia wouldbe unthinkable without a familiarity emphasis withPlato's concept of puav(a by whichthe poetsand seersare possessed. negligent.and a number of minor stars.. thereason and A perhaps too liberal license are nowcalledmelancholy.but as RobertBurton of Melancholy suchconfusion of1621: "theTowerofBabel never oftongues yielded doth of Symptoms.in affection and jealous. wayof life. by philosophical conventions? literary Where talksofhismadness and melancholy.

a levelling effect with ofthesystem doesnotadmit anyinterference Guilds.If anywhere. thatthepersonality craftsman oftheguild-controlled thebackground nature appearas of a revolutionary artists of Renaissance problems real. reports adjustedtheir in Renaissance artists to individualism Is thenthebreak-through of on Burckhardt's thesis depending myths a myth-oneofthemany in the age of theRenaissance? of theindividual the liberation another from angle. that he had executeda remarkable clarus. It is cerand manifestation the freedevelopment but it is just against tainlytruethatthe citybreedsindividualism. of Modena calls himself later. witha well regulated artists werede jure and de factocraftsmen have cometo Specialists dailyroutine.However from in a classdistinct other crafts. theymaybe praised In documents and inscriptions. Florentine of individualism.morecorrectly. theirown and theirworks'excellence. admirable. wise. wouldseemthatthe guilds. and so forth. names. which. excellent. a greatmanynamesof medievalartists. thesis forthe old ones.WiththisprovisoBurckhardt's new fetters of thevisual validin thefield it remains remains valid. as ingenious. trious.Can we doubtthat of their themention nessthatwarranted achievement? of individual sense a strong reflects thisattitude withthe social such an interpretation But how can we combine in the Middle Ages? It of artists and social standing organization becameall-powerful admittedly. a and magnificent structure. Looking current would with which tally of personality traits developed artists or subconsciously writers and thatconsciously talent ideason creative accordingly. doctus.the historian on originality. the architect Thus about1063Rainaldus. work masters saw their thatthese thisqualityof uniqueIt was precisely as a uniqueaccomplishment. an equalizing exercised not untilthe XIIIth century. one may interpret and aptus. thatthey artists of Renaissance achievement It is an undeniable octo thatofan intellectual thelevelofa mechanical raisedartfrom . his Civilization from of theRenaisexcluded Burckhardt arts. and a wellregulated training had believes thattheguildsystem conclusions: Coulton contradictory of the whileDoren. in the inscriptions themasters Moreimportant. learned.which sance. skilled. for influence. proclaim themselves proudly boasted of Pisa Cathedral.RENAISSANCE ARTISTIC INDIVIDUALISM 297 thatthe one feelsboundto infer back on thisposition. documents from illuszealous.Lanfrancus generation it is clear suchinscriptions.We know problem thistricky Let us approach and craftsmen architects. and emphatically bewas not liberated We mayhave to agreethatthe individual thathe exchanged causehe had notbeenfettered or.

the factthat such an idea couldbe verbalized. of by the violence The reality of thisnewtypeis put intorelief it. In his Dei veri precettidella pittura (1587) The strongest and mostilluminating thepen stricture comes from of GiovanBattistaArmenini.e. although are born. theydrovea wedgebetween cupation. from other human beings." between 1550 and 1556.Vasarihimself. facedthestruggle in Italy as an idiosyncratical profesXVIth century theyemerged who yet desionalcastewithimmensely strong leadingindividuals. reports anyform the qualitiescommon among termsthat Raphael had superseded i. Whether thisis rhetorical for hisperson thanfor esteem galillusor not. forthem.The modern typeof prepared velopedalongthe grooves artist had comeintoexistence. theirdetachment from and theireccentricity adreality artists. whilein fact They are strange.Earlyin the guilds. "People spreada thousandpernicious and unbearable.298 RUDOLF WITTKOWER the artto science.Forthefirst those And their artas an act of self-expression. and uncouthness ("un certoche di pazzia e di mixedwithmadness At almostthe samemoment. In his DialoguesFrancisco 1538and 1540. werealso capableofseeing the modern conceptof geniusbelongsto a later period. had suchhonors fore timetheartist's was It was also thenthatforthefirst personality de Hollanda. the end of the 1540's. withtheir environment alone. For thefirst timein western aboundthatartists statements and acknowledged theartist theinitiated history publicbowedbefore was his special place in society.surely lies about famouspainters. timetheartists oftheworld to thelevelofan elite.makes whowas in Romebetween Portuguese painter had greater Vittoria Colonnasay thatthosewhoknewMichelangelo hiswork. merge withthesocialand intellectual in themostglowing ofextravagance was anathema. it is said. Onlysillypeoplebetheyarenotdifferent e fantesiosos-eccentric lieve thattheyare fantasticos and capricious. whowas trained as a painter in Rome . had beenreached I commented at thebeginning which freed from theprotective bondofthe Let me sumup: The artists.Neverbeand ranked abovetheprinces called"divine" been accorded to an artist. lantry of the voltefaceand showsthatthe position on trates thedirection so soon. Michelangelo Duringhis lifetime of theblood. solitary. Francisco de Hollanda ascribes the following statement to Michelin orderto give it the weight of highest authority: angelo.the placed above his art. By allying owneyesand rosein their artsand thecrafts and.' longer to whom elite. As earlyas themiddle of the XVIth century thereaction against artistwith his foiblesand eccentricities the individualist was no It was nowfeltthatartists shouldunobtrusively 'fashionable. salvatichezza").at thesametime.

marked manners and impeccable whoseeasy deportment man artist." type of or ratherproto-bohemian. the childof theromantic of thetruebohemian. avant-garde century the periodin the Italian Renaissance. thevices awayfrom nauseatand using disorderly by acting aimat originality should they inglanguage. in splendid isolation.It was only academic typeretained the conforming era. abstruse By and eccentricity. from theencumbrance liberation for artist's fight The Renaissance forliberain theromantic artist's fight of the guildswas re-enacted as a memThe spectre oftheartist thetiesoftheacademy. uncouthness.RENAISSANCE ARTISTIC INDIVIDUALISM 299 folkand amongcommon he writes:"An awfulhabithas developed of thata painter it seemsnatural to whom theeducated evenamong vice mustshowsignsof someuglyand nefarious distinction highest his from springing temperament and eccentric alliedwitha capricious believeto artists ignorant is thatmany Andtheworst mind.and of stylewithin that of rapid changes thatofthenonfinito.fostered aroseonceagain: theimageof thebohemian of the society as by thereaction of the artists muchby thebehavior of whichtheylived. artist thegentlevision-come-true: Alberti's far-sighted Leon Battista part.Thus we see at the turnof the on the fringe in the making under which. and creating theworld from alienated mankind. of their on which theyheapedthefullness history I shall work. withthearrival and the non-conforming typewas once thatthe tableswereturned againin theascendancy. . tionfrom abovetherestof as a kindofbeingelevated berofa privileged group. as tookshape. of personality problems XIXth century of the Italian Renaishad beset the artists kindred circumstances. ancient of greatand learned examples quoting masters. and of madness. the workof one artist. thirdly. Nevertheless. himas a manoftheworld. from derived wereultimately scorn. Duringlongperiods portrait to Vasari'sliterary cestry the upperhand. ticularrelevance: first." melancholy by affecting be veryexceptional and modern. its counterby butit was nowovershadowed had cometo stay. therising unthinkable without This type. between heyday of Raphael. mustkeep to drivehomehis point "that artists intends Armenini nor extravagance. Paradoxically.secondly. whichhad their of the academies institution social and educational its antraced theXVIIth and theXIXth centuries. the bohemian. of XXthindividualism the untrammelled sance. social and their problems personality artists. themento their from has cometo turn The moment seemto me ofa parwhich different herethree mention topics briefly the questionof individual styles.

artists as historical existuntilRenaissance beganto see themselves in a newsense. a comparative The changefrom to a comparative stability moin a new approach to the training of bilityof styleis also reflected In accordance in artists. . in Florence his late medieval written after manual. apartfrom By and largethisremained foralmostfourcenturies. forindividualism as it doesin Picasso'scase. We can no longerdoubt that manymasters ones-oftenhad highly individual Ages-greatas well as mediocre manners of their own.This is true manyartists Raphael on and particularly artists. butmany the masters. couldnot wishto developit in a definite direction-this.Renaissance artists werethe first to change from manner their one to another and not rarely considerably phase from yearto year. Cennini. to which thewriting of autobiographies. withmedieval workshop traditions.the But theconception style. were thepanorama ofhistory and makea considered able to survey choice No medieval artist couldhavesaidorwritten oftheir allegiance. In art of art education acceptedpattern historical jargon themethod is described by thewoolly term "eclectiit implies. of style. 1400. fact. tionby counselling artist shouldstudy thattheaspiring notonlyone nature. in theindividuality ofan individual theawareness ofit. Picasso'sability to switch a stylederived so of modern from to one basedon Greek from negro sculpture vase painting and sculpwellhowthefreedom ofchoiceeffects tureillustrates radicalchanges of style. from masters whowork style].advisesthe thatthestudent in order reader should follow onemaster to acquirea At theendofthecentury Leonardo reversed thisposigoodmanner. It was onlythenthatartists ingwithGhiberti's. startbeings bearswitness.300 RUDOLF WIrTKOWER I wantto stress individual Regarding styles. So faras we can judge. an absolute trust art." The freedom of choicewas accompanied by a freedom to change. do notacceptcouncil I praisethosewho follow the ancients and I bless the soul of in Florence Brunellesco whorevived theancient manner ofbuilding. in cism"which freedom ofchoice should bythevery stand.thenotorious pastime implies ofstyle without barriers oftimeand place. what wrote about1460: "I ask everybody Filarete to abandon thearchitect he ofcourse referred to theGothic tradition themodern [bymodern. in thismanner.Without literary evidence and a highly developed of analysisit wouldoftenbe impossible to state that a technique greatmaster's works from different periods are actually by thesame of from hand. onlyone singleasof the Middle pect.How else couldwe ascribe withassurance ceroftheWestporch to thegreat of Chartres tainstatues revolutionary master and others to his pupilsand followers? Attributing works of of arthistorians. I believe.

in a spirited thatGiottowas at once the conclusion paradoxical the not entirely "forGiotto [he of medievalindividualism.This led a man and thefirst France. the secondhalf of the XVIIth in of the XVIth century halfoftheXVIIIth in England.There are.theromantic againstwindmills. I neednot fight to style. WithLeonardo reasons. byno meansa theconviction thatartis notteachable. to subservient was made it because illusory became ofchoice freedom which. "I cannot teachmyartnorthe thisopinion. artofanyschool.Blake passionof artas a rational doctrine discipline. thatforlongperiods It is true. deluded of unpredictthe potentiality stylesand enhanced of personal riety the fervent romantic Moreover."sinceI denythatartcan be taught. literary half thesecond during instance." I maintain individual. forexternal thattheyremained incomplete a newphase.the greatest "may for theCaprichosthatan artist pleadedin theprospectus siecle. into the The non finito affords perhapsan even deeperinsight of style. or.in he said. The romantic vocabulary-enthusiasm. theautonomous. .to and not yet forgotten like Clive Bell. climaxand anti-climax extinct." thatartis completely other words of the peculiar also help to understand position Such utterances the greatinwhenthe gulfbetween the artsin the XIXth century was art production artistsand an entirely dividualist impersonal creative artists stoodaside. able and suddenstylistic led to in theuniqueness oftheindividual and theinviolability belief Even Courbet. following in by an arttheory oftasteandfenced a dictatorship in A levelling notion. butwhere medieval unfinished works. result ofinternal thanexternal rather claimed] heads a movementtowardsimitation. of than problems processof individualization it appears we can check.forit is nowthe enters thenonfinito and Michelangelo causes. wider thaneverbefore: of the to thedeadening discipline had to submit whileyoung artists academies. bookof 1913. spontaneity. imitatio as a central accepted theory. of theRenaissance the guardians the academies. course. concepIn fact." artwas almost noonoftheRenaissance.RENAISSANCE ARTISTIC INDIVIDUALISM 301 of artthe in thehistory however. everything reversed had stoodfor. changes.. approach openednew doorsto an individual tionof genius geniusnaivete. . for resulted. accepted romantic artist. or movements forms and depict nature from entirely himself remove to thisdayhaveexisted onlyin hisimagination. ofstyle theindividualism in Italy. Before the late ." which theseartists I am notconcerned to whatextent withthequestion and varichness But they fostered a great surely themselves. that"Taste & Geniusare notTeachableor Acquirable atelybelieved artistof the findu and are bornwithus" and Goya.

to follow pay due regard that all he does is important. of his the publicto work. of the artist's are thefinished thesketchy execution thehalf-finished work.the gulfbetween the imperfect realization thepurity ofthePlatonic idea and thebaseness between and matter. with the execution dissatisfaction of the inner mind image. cordbetween the workand its hiddenand hintedat. from finishing someoftheir nets-prevented thesemasters maybe due thenonfinito Later. Columbia University. Moreover.302 RUDOLF WIrrKOWER and existed between the conception Neverbefore had a tension of a work. But nowself-criticism. in the work more demandasserts itself work and through the artist ofthehistory ofart. request has its withthisunspoken readiness ofthepublicto comply personality whichfirst raisedthe artist's rootsin the Renaissance upona lofty pedestal.withRodinand so manyothers. by the visual evidence himevenwhere he seemsinto his genius. . the personality maker is nevertruly severed. picture. realization-often the subjectof Michelangelo's sonof its material works. ifonlyhalfis said and so much troloftheact ofcreation. The intentional for has to develop a sophisticated theartist consis andintrospection. ofself-analynonfinito requires a newform product. thecreative decision to bring to an end at any to a deliberate process the roughly hewn moment choice. the umbilical In other of the words.I may to tie together Without trying fornow we findthe yet claimthat we are back at the beginning. so that the torso. ingly thanat anyother period thelooseendsofthispaper. The sure in his conviction distinct. requesting artist.

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